Even as Union Minister Virbhadra Singh levelled fresh allegations of corruption and illegal land deals against the BJP government on Thursday,Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal offered to face an inquiry by any of the the countrys agencies on accusations that his family was involved in benami land deals.
Dhumal,during a week-long tour of the districts spoke to the media at Una on Thursday and demanded that Virbhadra Singh produce documents,that the union minister claims prove Dhumals involvement in the deals,before any independent agency in the country for an impartial probe.
The chief minister,however,admitted that his sons – BJP MP Anurag Thakur and Arun Dhumal – had brought land at Dharamshala but insisted that the transaction was legal. Whats the illegality if a citizen of Himachal buys land and pays the appropriate price to the seller? Dhumal asked.
He denied Virbhadras charge that Premu,who sold the land,had become landless. The fact remains that he had given an affidavit,duly verified by the government agencies,that he did not become landless even after the sale,Dhumal said. The chief minister slammed the union minister for politicising the land owners natural death.
Dhumal also claimed that another person had approached the courts over the same piece of land but added that the case did not stand against the judicial scrutiny.
The chief minister,however,alleged that Virbhadra was guilty of occupying hundreds of bighas of land illegally beyond the ceiling limits and said he was forced to give up the land after claiming to be unaware of the law. A person on bail in a corruption case has no moral right to make baseless accusations against others, Dhumal said.
Meanwhile,addressing a rally at Sarkaghat in Mandi district on Thursday,Virbhadra Singh said the BJP government had institutionalised corruption in the state. There have been a series of scams and hundreds of cases of illegal land sales to non-Himachalis at peanuts prices. The government has sold vital interests of the state to outsiders without caring about the people,who lost their valuable land. Given a choice to return to power,the BJP may make a non-Himachali as Chief Minister here,he claimed and declared his resolve to oust the BJP government from power in the upcoming elections.
At the rally,where his loyalists including former minister Rangila Ram Rao termed him as the next chief minister,Virbhadras demand to declare the chief ministerial candidate before the polls was also raised prominently.
While Mandi is the home district of PCC president Kaul Singh Thakur but neither he (Thakur) nor the DCC president attended the rally.