Cong favours Lokayukta probe into charges against Virbhadra

FrontChief Minister Virbhadra Singh holds a sword during an event at Gaiety Theatre in Shimla on Monday.

As the BJP continued its attack on Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh demanding his resignation over allegations of corruption, the Congress on Monday favoured a probe by the Lokayukta and argued that it believes a "clean chit" can be given only by the legal and judicial authorities.

Congress spokesperson Sanjay Jha said the Himachal CM has given relevant documents to the party leadership. "In any democracy we have to follow the process and let us not be in a hurry. We respect the democratic process... You have been told that there are some documents that purport to a certain benefit. Let the investigation establish that. There is a Lokayukta in the state... Let it investigate," he said.

The Congress also slammed yoga guru Baba Ramdev for his remarks against former PM Jawaharlal Nehru. Ramdev had on Sunday said, "If Narendra Modi is maut ka saudagar, Jawaharlal Nehru, who was the Prime Minister when lakhs of people were killed in the aftermath of Partition, was maut ka mahasaudagar."

The Congress condemned the remarks saying the statement was extremely regrettable, reprehensible and deplorable. Jha said Nehru was a statesman who is respected and recognised worldwide. He said the remarks were insulting and pathetic. He also asked whether BJP's prime ministerial face Narendra Modi and its top leaders Rajnath Singh and Arun Jaitley, who shared the stage with Ramdev, endorsed his remarks.

Jha also welcomed the Delhi HC order upholding the laws empowering the CAG to audit private telecom firms.

"At the end of the day, in the provision of public service what one has to ensure is a higher level of transparency and accountability and I think the companies will comply... It is a good sign... we are stretching the definition of transparency and accountability to include the private sector firms in terms of tariff and pricing," he said.

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