Shimla: The octogenarian Himachal Chief Minister who was facing severe corruption charges from past sometime and is being investigated by the Central Bureau of Investigation, appears to be in deep crises now if the joint statement of all cabinet ministers released in anticipation here on Friday is some indication. For the first time a duly signed statement of all eleven cabinet ministers was circulated in the media showing solidarity by them and imagining a “soon to be taken action” against him. The issue was reportedly discussed in the cabinet on previous evening and the signatures of ministers were obtained.
The ministers in the statement said they are apprehending pressure tactics from the BJP led Union government and it might destabilise the popularly elected Virbhadra Singh government here. They said, “we are fearing the misuse of central investigating agencies to implicate Mr. Singh by making false accusations. The Income Tax cases against him are in various Courts and the matter is sub-judice, they said. It is the part of overall BJP tactics to nail the senior Congress leaders and divert the attention of the people from other important issues.
The CBI after going into a detail inquiry of his income tax cases had already submitted its preliminary inquiry report to the Delhi High Court in a sealed cover. It appears that at the instance of political leaders another preliminary inquiry in the same matter has been ordered with malafide intention, said the ministers statement.
They said such unsuccessful attempts had been made by BJP in the past also when false FIRs were registered against Virbhadra Singh by the State BJP leaders but every time after facing Court trials he had come out clean and safe.
On the other hand senior Congress leader Major (retd.) Vijai Singh Mankotia has said that the time has come to cleanse the State politics and the party from various corrupt elements. He said the party needs a “Swacchta Abhiyan” in Himachal also. Major Mankotia had earlier left the Congress on differences with Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh on the corruption issues. He said he was brought back in the party fold with a promise that corrupt elements would be thrown out in future, but unfortunately they are still there and having a good time.
The latest statement of ministers had created an uproar in the political circles here and the supporters close to the CM and his detractors have preferred to remain quite for the time being.
KY Singh is a political observer and a senior journalist with an interest in a diverse set of issues related to Himachal Pradesh and other mountain states. He lives in Shimla.