Even as the Congress attacked the chief minister by raking up the issue of vigilance cases and inquiries against its party members,Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal responded by asserting that the government had no special interest in settling scores through the state vigilance bureau but has only adopted a policy of zero-tolerance against those indulging in corruption.
There is no question of any political vendetta and its also wrong to say that the government had taken special interest in prosecuting certain individuals. The government was only expediting the investigations in the cases already registered by the agency,he told the House during question hour on Tuesday.
Congress MLA Mukesh Agnihotri claimed that the government had failed to prosecute certain officers,especially executive engineers and chief engineers,but had acted quite in haste to prosecute its political opponents. Beside Agnihotri – a journalist turned MLA – other Congress MLAs who had tabled the question included Kaul Singh Thakur,Gangu Ram Musafir,Prakesh Chaudhry and Sukhwinder Sukhu.
The chief minister,on the other hand,tabled a list of 461 cases registered by the state vigilance and anti-corruption bureau since 2008 but admitted that the conviction rate in corruption cases had been low,but now were showing a remarkable improvement during the BJP rule.
Denying that the cases were being instituted on political considerations,Dhumal said: Not a single case has been registered on political basis and the government is not unleashing political vendetta. He added that the government was taking several measures to curb corruption and had passed a Bill providing for attachment of property amassed by corrupt means and the assent of President Pratibha Devi Singh Patil was being awaited.
Dhumal also said that the conviction rate has gone up from 13.4 per cent to 18.8 per cent during past four years and informed the House that the accused had been convicted in 29 cases registered by vigilance bureau while in 125 cases,the accused were exonerated by courts in 2011.