The Himachal Lokhit Party (HLP) a breakaway group of the BJP on Friday stepped up its corruption tirade against Health Minister Rajeev Bindal accusing him of possessing disproportionate assets,including over 100 bighas of prime land,a residential plot in Lucknow and several residential buildings in Himachal Pradesh,Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.
Bindal has already been under attack from the Congress for his alleged role in illegal land deals involving non-Himachalis and promoters of some private universities. The minister,who has a case pending with the states Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau registered against him a few years ago,is currently on bail.
Opening a direct front against Bindal,HLP spokesman Mohinder Sofat,a former BJP minister,released several documents some of which he claimed to have obtained under the RTI to authenticate the charges and sought a CBI probe into his assets.
I have no intention of character assassination. I am also not asking for his resignation for repeatedly lying about his properties,many of these neither mentioned in the affidavits filed before the Election Commission nor in his personal declarations. I have decided to release the documents to the media. If you (the media) are convinced about the charges,please do confront Bindal. The list clearly shows properties in his name,his two brothers,a nephew and his wife Madhu Bindal, he told a press conference here.
Sofat accused Bindal of targeting the poorest of the poor people below poverty line (BPL) families who were allotted plots of land by the state government. Bindal bought back their plots misusing his position,although there was a mandatory clause that plots allotted to the BPL families could not be sold or bought for at least 20 years.
The HLP leader released an affidavit of one Rajinder Kumar,of Anji near Solan,whose 4.11-bigha land was bought by Bindal in 1981. Kumar,who was ailing,died on March 11,2007,and never got the full cost of the land. There were similarly other poor families whose names Sofat released along with papers.
He said a few days ago,Bindal had released some details of his property to the media at Solan and claimed he did not own any property outside the state. However,the information collected by the HLP showed he had bought a plot from the Lucknow Development Authority at Gomati Nagar for Rs 14.40 lakh and owned 6.2 kanals of land at Pehwa in his wifes name.