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Chargesheet in phone-tap case in a week: Himachal CM

HP CM Virbhadra Singh Sunday said the inquiry into the mass phone tapping of politicians and government officials during the previous BJP regime was complete.

Shimla: Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh Sunday said the inquiry into the mass phone tapping of politicians and government officials duringb the previous BJP regime was complete and the charge sheet would be filed in the court within a week.

"I don`t know who all are involved (in the phone tapping), but the investigations are almost complete and the charge sheet would be filed within a week," he told reporters here.

Refuting allegations of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and former chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal that the government was tapping their phones, Virbhadra Singh said: "It was like pot calling the kettle black. They tapped phones during their tenure and are now trying to make offence the best defence."
Dhumal Saturday alleged the government has purchased a machine for tapping phones. "We do not believe in such things," said the chief minister, who also accused the previous government of tapping his phones and bugging his rooms.

The present Congress government accused the previous government deaded by Dhumal of illegally tapping certain telephone numbers through the criminal investigation and the vigilance departments.

Dhumal, however, refuted the charges.

The total number of phones tapped, mainly of Congress leaders, government functionaries and journalists in violation of the Indian Telegraph Act, was over 1,300, said officials.

Of these, the home department had granted permission to tap only 170 phones, they said.

Regarding the Lok Sabha polls, the chief minister said the party was fully prepared and has given good candidates for all the four seats from the state.

He said the BJP has been winning from the Hamirpur parliamentary constituency since 1998. It is currently represented by Dhumal`s son Anurag Thakur, a two-time winner.
He, however, said the saffron party has taken people for granted. He added: "We are hopeful of winning it this time."

Describing Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi`s last week rally in the state a success, Virbhadra Singh said: "We may organise more such rallies and one of these may also be addressed by Congress president Sonia Gandhi."

"But personally, I am not in favour of holding many election rallies as these consume a lot of time, money and resources."

He said, "It`s a hilly state, where the candidates have to reach out to people in the remotest of corners, which takes a lot of time."

Voting in the four constituencies -- Shimla (reserved), Hamirpur, Kangra and Mandi -- in the hill state will take place May 7.