Virbhadra rejects "open debate" demand by BJP
Shimla: HPCC chief Virbhadra Singh Thursday rejected the BJP demand for public debate with Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal over his allegations that land was being sold through "legal and illegal means" in the state by the BJP government.
"Why should I debate the issue with him. I would go directly to people with who are my biggest strength", the former chief minister told reporters here.
He alleged the BJP was trying to give a twist by giving the number of permission granted to outsiders to purchase land and was not giving the area of land.
"It was a matter of huge chunk of land given in the name of Industrial and hydropower projects and private universities and even other resources like water have also been sold," he alleged.
State BJP president Satpal Singh Satti had said yesterday, "In its tenure, Congress had given 2,398 permissions for land purchase...Whereas, BJP government in its present regime has given 1,497 permissions only."
Virbhadra said BJP was counting number of permissions given for purchase of land when the state was in the phase of industrialisation and maximum permissions were required to be given to set up industrial units to fully avail the industrial package of state.
But the BJP government had sold big chunks of land to outsiders in the name of tourism units, private universities and others, which called for close scrutiny, he said.
Virbhadra claimed senior BJP leader Shanta Kumar had alleged two BJP ministers were involved in corruption and had categorically told the party that he would not campaign if these two ministers are given ticket.
He alleged BJP leaders were laying foundation stones of schemes for which no budget has been allocated.
In reply to the probable changes in the state Congress body, he said till date no changes have been made except his appointment in place of former state chief Kaul Singh Thakur.
"It would make no difference as both of us belong to Mandi Parliamentary constituency represented by me," Singh said.
He said the party would soon hold its meeting for finalising candidates for the Assembly polls.
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