BJP dubs one year of Cong rule in Himachal `dark chapter`
Shimla: The BJP on Wednesday dubbed one-year rule of the Congress in Himachal Pradesh a "dark chapter" in the history of the state, marked by rampant corruption, irregularities, and political vendetta.
Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh and his cabinet colleagues are involved in several instances of corruption and conspiracy, BJP alleged in its 28-page "charge-sheet" submitted to Governor Urmilla Singh here.
The government has set a new record of corruption in its very first year and there is "no government worth the name" in the state, the opposition party said, demanding a CBI probe into the charges of corruption and irregularities.
The "charge-sheet" mentioned alleged acts of "omission and commission" by all ministers, particularly the Chief Minister, Transport Minister G S Bali, Forest Minister Thakur Singh Bharmauri, and Industries Minister Mukesh Agnihotri. They also accused senior Congress leaders of murky land deals.
The "charge-sheet" listed allegations against Virbhadra Singh, including of "illegal" holding of shares by his wife, daughter and son in a private company.
The BJP described the government as a "government of contractors", and alleged that contractors and mafias were controlling the government and Congress leaders were making money through awarding of tenders to select people.
Accusing Horticulture Minister Vidya Stokes of procuring sub-standard pipes, the BJP alleged that firms listed for purchase did not fall among "A" grade companies and the pipe fittings procured by the department were not up to the mark.
A 100-member delegation, led by leader of the opposition P K Dhumal and state party chief Satpal Singh Satti, presented the "charge-sheet" to the Governor.
Slamming Health Minister Kaul Singh Thakur for his move to outsource laboratories of 22 premier health institutions to a multinational company, the opposition BJP said this would mean payment of higher charges for tests by poor people.
The "charge-sheet" accused Transport and Food Minister G S Bali of purchasing "shamlat" land from a widow in Palampur in violation of laws, and charged him with procuring sugar at a higher rate causing loss of crores of rupees to the state.
The party alleged that pictures of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress president Sonia Gandhi, the Chief Minister, and the State Food and Supplies Minister have been printed on ration cards in a bid to politicise it.
The BJP also hinted at a scam in closing of diesel pumps owned by Himachal Pradesh Road Transport Corporation (HRTC).
Targeting Forest Minister Thakur Singh Bharmauri, the "charge-sheet" said he had purchased land from poor people at throwaway prices.
It accused the Industries Minister Mukesh Agnihotri of shielding mining mafias, and said the minister announced a ban on the export of sand and stone to other states, but removed the same after a short period, thus facilitating export to other states. The minister also failed to check the stone crushers operating in the state.
The "charge-sheet" alleged irregularities in registration of 12 builders and renewal of registration of six others despite the fact that they did not fulfil the conditions for the same.
BJP asked the Excise and Taxation Minister to disclose the source of funds for the multi-storey building constructed by him, and also accused him of giving permission to set up a bottling plant in violation of norms.
The "charge-sheet" also accused Rural Development Minister Anil Sharma of illegally constructing a six-storey hotel against permission for three storeys. It also alleged that the Social Justice and Empowerment Minister benefited from shady land deals.
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