Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh on Friday chose to downplay Major (Rtd) Vijai Singh Mankotia’s charges and his outburst against him, saying, “this is nothing new about the man, whose track record his well known in the state’. In his reaction, Virbhadra Singh said, “Mankotia has been behaving like this in the past too. Whenever the elections draw near, he has to turns hostile and start racking-up issues, which have no basis. His changed role will not affect the Congress in any manner in the state,” he added.
Meanwhile two cabinet ministers — Thakur Singh Bharmouri and Prakash Chaudhary backed Chief Minister’s action of removing him from the post of vice-Chairman and condemned Mankotia for issuing baseless statements against Virbhadra Singh. They said his statement indicates desperation of a person who has been repeatedly dejected by the people.
“Mankotia is in a habit of making false and unfounded allegations against the Government and the Chief Minister whenever the elections are round the corner. It seems once again he is playing in the hands of BJP and trying to mislead the people by spreading all sort of lies,” they said.
They said after enjoying the benefits of power, now he always speak against the Chief Minister and government which amply speaks of double standards. The claim of Mankotia is ridiculous that 80 percent people want resignation of Shri Virbhadra Singh. Perhaps he is issuing such malicious statements just to please the BJP leaders.
Referring to Mankotia’s charge relating to appointment of Chief Secretary V C Pharka, the ministers said, “it is always prerogative of the government to appoint officer of its own choice and Mankotia has no right to raise questions about it.”
Mankotia has alleged in the press conference today that there were seven competent, experienced and senior officers who were ignored in the appointment of Chief Minister. Some of them have to go to the CAT for seeking justice.