Virbhadra rebuts charges, attacks Jaitley and Dhumal

Virbhadra Singh Wednesday said all his income came from his apple orchards, and wondered how BJP leader Arun Jaitley had accessed his income-tax returns without his consent.

At a press conference on Tuesday, Jaitley had quoted extensively from the purported income-tax returns of the senior Congress leader, which apparently showed revisions multiplying his income several times from some lakhs to a couple of crores.

Virbhadra Singh, who flew into Shimla from Rohru, rejected Jaitley's allegations of bribery, money laundering and forgery, and repeated his threat to take the BJP to court for defamation.

"I wonder how Jaitley got access to my income-tax returns when they are still under scrutiny for assessment. I-T returns can't be obtained without consent even under the RTI Act," he told a press conference.

"I am not entitled to look into his (Jaitley's) returns, nor he into mine. Since the BJP has chosen to continue with its malicious character assassination campaign, I reserve the right to file a defamation suit against their leaders after the elections on November 4."

Virbhadra mocked Jaitley's lack of experience fighting elections, and advised him to worry about his party chief Nitin Gadkari (who is facing corruption allegations) instead. "I respect Jaitley because he is a senior leader but he has no experience of elections. At this moment, he should be more worried about the charges faced by Gadkari."

The former chief minister repeated that it was unfair to infer that the "VBS" in the alleged Inspat Industries payoffs matter was a reference to him.

"I have already offered myself up for a CBI probe, and I am told the agency has already started investigations. I welcome it, but I dismiss Jaitley's charges about the money from Ispat, and the investments in LIC policies handled by Anand Chauhan."

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