Back from Delhi, Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh on Thursday threw gauntlet at former chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal threatening a CBI probe into his assets, but raised fears if the CBI will be able to do a fair job under the new regime at the Centre.
“Government is weighing two options- either hold inquiry by our own agency i.e. State Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau or refer the case to the CBI since the list of properties/ assets compiled by the vigilance show, he (Dhumal) has also acquired assets outside the state,” he told media persons at Vidhan Sabha, after launching ‘Digital India’ project for the MLAs.
Months ago, Virbhadra Singh had declared that the state government will write to the CBI against Dhumal, for probe into his and his family’s assets acquired during his terms as Chief Minister.
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Asked if he fears that the CBI will investigate the charges in a fair manner or will it give a clean chit to Dhumal, the Chief Minister replied, “that danger is always there. But, I believe the CBI is a premier investigation agency. It’s track record is very good. Yet, you never know what will happen under the new dispensation or what tool CBI will use in the case”.
Replying to media persons’ questions, Virbhadra Singh- who himself is facing a CBI Preliminary Enquiry (PE) into his and his family’s assets worth Rs 5 crores, said “the action of the CBI is politically motivated. There are some leaders in the state and few in Delhi, trying to blackmail me. I will not get cowed down by such actions. I am going to fight back. And, I also know what’s going to be the outcome of the probe”.
The Chief Minister said such attempts to target him on corruption and other other cases were made earlier also but nothing happened and even now the CBI is not going to find anything.
He said the action smacks political vendetta because the CBI had already investigated the charges and submitted a status report to the Delhi High Court in a sealed over. “Now, without waiting for the outcome of the earlier probe, the CBI registered a fresh PE under political pressures. Afterall what’s new which the CBI wants to enquire against me?” he asked.
Asked if he was seeking a legal recourse, the Chief Minister said, “I am not doing anything. Matter is before the Delhi High Court.” He recalled that it was Arun Jaitley who had levelled allegations against him. Thereafter, he (Virbhadra) had filed a defamation case which he later withdrew when Jaitely became the Union Finance Minister.
The Chief Minister returned to Shimla on Thursday morning after his stay in Delhi, where he also met former Union Law Minister Kapil Sibal, who is representing him in the Delhi High Court case.