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Jaitley accuses Virbhadra of granting favour to firm,writes to Manmohan

The contract granted to the firm in 2002 had been cancelled in 2004 for delay in execution.

Written by Express News Service | Newdelhi |
December 31, 2013 12:05:26 am

Days after Rahul Gandhi sought to take a moral high ground by expressing displeasure at the Maharashtra government rejection of the Adarsh housing scam report,the BJP accused Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh Monday of granting a “quid pro quo” favour to a businessman and dared the Congress vice-president to walk the talk on corruption by removing Virbhadra Singh.

“New documents reveal a favour is shown to a private company that grants a loan to the Chief Minister (Virbhadra) and his wife. In one of the group companies,his wife and two children become shareholders. There cannot be a stronger evidence of quid pro quo,” leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley has written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh claiming “offences under Prevention of Corruption Act,besides violation of various revenue laws”.

The letter alleges that Virbhadra,soon after coming to power last year,granted extension to Venture Energy and Technology for execution of a hydel project. The contract granted to the firm in 2002 had been cancelled in 2004 for delay in execution.

Jaitley has cited a Lok Sabha bypoll affidavit filed by Pratibha Singh,wife of Virbhadra,to highlight that “the promoter of this company,Vakamulla Chandrasekhar,had given an unsecured loan of Rs 1.5 crore to Pratibha and Rs 2.4 crore to Virbhadra”. He said documents from the registrar of companies office suggested the CM’s wife and two children were shareholders in another firm promoted by Chandrasekhar.

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“It appears that a favour was being shown to the said company. A quid pro quo was offered by the said company to Virbhadra Singh and his family around the same period,” Jaitley has alleged.

He said he had enclosed all supplementary documents with the letter. Releasing copies of his letter to the media at the BJP headquarters here,Jaitley claimed money changed hands between Virbhadra and the private firm with business interests in the state and asserted that it was an “open and shut case of corruption” in which the Congress leadership should demonstrate action.

“This is a test for the Congress. This is a test for Sonia and Rahul Gandhi. This will show if their recent outbursts against corruption in the Adarsh case were a genuine reaction or it was contrived anger,” he said. The BJP leader referred to two earlier cases of alleged corruption involving Virbhadra during his stint as the Union Steel Minister and said he should be removed in the wake of this third case.

“These are cases that require immediate investigation by both the income-tax authorities and the CBI. I request you to look into this matter for appropriate action,” Jaitley requested the Prime Minister.

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