Shimla: Not pressing defamation charges anymore, tables have turned on Virbhadra Singh for taking up cudgels with Arun Jaitley, who now as the unions finance minister is the authority that will investigate and monitor the contentious revised income tax returns of the chief minister.
“The defamation case against Arun Jaitley stands withdrawn,” Virbhadra told reporters on yesterday. He added that he did not wish to press the issue now that Jaitely is the country’s finance minister and the state government had to interact with the union ministry about important financial matters concerning the state.
Raged over Jaitley in December last year having made public the revised income tax returns of Virbhadra Singh, the chief minister had filed a defamation case.
As a BJP spokesperson, Jaitley on December 30 leveled serious corruption charges against Virbhadra Singh terming it an ‘open and shut case’ of corruption.
He also mentioned that he had written to the then prime minister Manmohan Singh with a copy forwarded to CBI demanding an investigation into revised income tax returns, whereby the income shown as agricultural income earned by better returns from apples sold over three years, increased phenomenally.
At the same media briefing he had also alleged a qui pro quo for extending allotment of a power project to a private promoter and then taking of a personal loan from the same private promoter.
Virbhadra at first had asked BJP to move the Lok Ayukta to get the allegation probed and proved before he had dragged the issue to court over defamation.
“The accusations are preposterous and politically motivated. If they have any evidence, they are free knock at the door of Lokayukta,” Virbhadra Singh had said.
He had added that Mr Jaitley and Mr Dhumal (former chief minister of Himachal Pradesh) were behaving as complainant, prosecutor and a judge all unto themselves and pleading, prosecuting and passing orders in a same stretch.
The chief minister said that he would not be cowed down by threats and malicious propaganda, which was designed to malign his image in the public.
Virbhadra has also filed defamation cases filed against Dhumal and his sons Anurag Thakur and Arun Dhumal over the same charges.