Shimla: Firmly in the saddle as the new state congress president, Virbhadra Singh on assuming charge went on an offensive against the BJP government, accusing it of misusing office for personal gains, zero tolerance to all opposition and declared that he was ready to face trail in the ‘fabricated’ CD case.
Speaking to the media after formally taking charge as the new party chief, Virbhadra said that the Prem Kumar Dhumal government was intolerant to any opposition.
Brute force was used earlier in the day to suppress the Congress protest demonstration and peaceful protesters were lathi charged, tear gas and water cannons were used and many, including a large number of women have been injured, he said.
Giving credit to earlier Congress governments for setting up schools and public health institutions in the state, the veteran leader said “the present BJP government had only misused office to amass wealth for themselves and their cronies.”
Should a Congress government be formed after elections, immediate action would be taken against the wholesale corruption prevailing in the state, he said. Special courts would be set up within a week of a congress government being formed to try such cases, he added.
Mentioning a charge sheet that senior congress leaders submitted to the President recently, he said that the demand was for instituting a CBI inquiry to go into the charges leveled.
Claiming to be a victim of false cases registered on basis of a fabricated CD as evidence against him, Virbhadra said, “I’m ready to face trial in the case.”
Framing of criminal charges in the case had led to Virbhadra resigning from the union cabinet two months ago.
He said that his lawyers had been instructed to withdraw all petitions so that the trail could begin at the earliest.
“It would not be unfair if I requested that the trial be speeded up because some of the prosecution witnesses in the case are more than eighty years old,” he said.
Terming his appointment as state congress president two months ahead of assembly elections was “a big responsibility’ he added that cooperation of all was needed to bring the party back to power.
Pointing out the large number of advertisements making tall claims about the Dhumal government were appearing in national and regional media, both print and electronic, Virbhadra said, “it was a gross misuse of state funds.”
He claimed that development funds from tourism departments and others had been being diverted for launching the media blitz.