BJP for SIT probe into graft charges against Virbhadra

Alleging that the Congress wanted to “hush up” the revelations of alleged payments made by a steel firm to Steel Ministry functionaries,including one ‘VBS’,during the tenure of Virbhadra Singh as the minister,the BJP has pressed for a probe by a special investigation team and not the CBI.

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi | Published:October 17, 2012 3:26 am

Alleging that the Congress wanted to “hush up” the revelations of alleged payments made by a steel firm to Steel Ministry functionaries,including one ‘VBS’,during the tenure of Virbhadra Singh as the minister,the BJP has pressed for a probe by a special investigation team and not the CBI.

“The Congress has not answered any of the logical questions emanating from the explosive books of accounts of Ispat Limited pointing fingers at the whole Steel Ministry apparatus. The fact remains that the Congress government wanted to hush up the matter as it would have boomeranged on them,” BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said on Tuesday.

The BJP has rejected the denial of Singh,who is leading the Congress’s campaign in poll-bound Himachal Pradesh,claiming that there is ample “admissible evidence” for initiating legal action against him. “These are regular books of accounts maintained in the regular course of business and are a relevant evidence (Section 34 of the Evidence Act). The veracity of these cannot be disputed since they were seized in a tax raid. These books reflect a criminal conspiracy between a bribe-giver and a bribe-taker. If payments are being made to Steel Ministry officials and its PSUs under the CMD account,it is not difficult for any investigator to decipher the identity of ‘VBS’,” Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley said in a statement issued on Monday. Singh had earlier claimed that he writes his initials as ‘VS’ and not ‘VBS’.

The BJP insisted that the probe be undertaken by a SIT and not the CBI. “This case obviously cannot be investigated by the CBI. The diaries contain an entry of expenses spent by the corporate group on the CBI and ED. This is a fit case where the legal process has to be set in motion and be referred to an SIT team consisting of officers of unquestionable integrity,” said Jaitley.

“It is a corruption issue. It is obvious that the government tried to conceal facts. Truth is difficult to be suppressed,it leaks itself out. What is the Prime Minister going to do now? Is he going to add to the environment of negativity by looking the other way and ignore facts? Were these facts known to him and the Congress president when they took certain decisions with regard to Congress party’s organisational changes in Himachal Pradesh?,” he asked.

Ispat: CBI to identify ‘beneficiary’ officials

Two years after the Income Tax department conducted raids on ISPAT Industries Limited,the CBI has finally begun a probe into it.

The CBI’s probe will try to identify government officials who were allegedly shown as beneficiaries in the seized documents. There were entries that showed payments were made to the Coal Ministry,State Trading Corporation and MSTC.

‘Ready for any probe’

Dharamsala: Former Union minister Virbhadra Singh on Tuesday said he was ready to face a probe into allegations that he received payments from a private steel firm provided the role of others,including Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan is also investigated.

“My name is Virbhadra Singh and its initials are VS and not VBS as BJP says,but any way as I am ready,let Shiv Raj Chouhan and others be put under the inquiry,” Virbhadra said in Dharamsala.

He said,“I have a clean 50 years of political career,though BJP kept me busy in several cases. But I always come out clear”.

Himachal Pradesh Congress Committee media incharge Mukesh Agnihotri questioned the “silence” BJP leader Arun Jaitley on the alleged role of Chouhan. “The IT raids were conducted by the department in 2010 and now two years BJP and and Arun Jaitley are flogging a dead horse,raising an uncalled for din and processions to mislead voters to reap political dividend,” he said.

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