Virbhadra Singh lands in Delhi, denies corruption charges
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A day after BJP leader Arun Jaitley levelled allegations of corruption against him, Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh rushed to Delhi Tuesday afternoon. The Himachal CM's unscheduled Delhi visit came amidst speculation about the Congress high command summoning him after the opposition's stiff demand for his ouster.
On arrival in Delhi on Tuesday, the Himachal CM claimed that the allegations were a "malicious campaign" by the Opposition. His wife, Pratibha Singh, who has also been accused of corruption, visited the AICC headquarters and met senior party leaders.
While developments in the Congress show that the party leadership has been put in a tight spot over the charges, sources said Virbhadra may be given some time and asked to explain his position.
Before flying to Delhi, Virbhadra is reported to have requisitioned files related to hydel projects including Saikothi (15 MW) project, which was allotted to Venture Energy and Technologies Ltd.
Two Cabinet ministers, Sudhir Sharma (Urban and Housing) and Mukesh Agnihotri (Industry and Public relations), also accompanied Virbhadra to Delhi.
Meanwhile, former Himachal CM and Leader of Opposition in the state Prem Kumar Dhumal maintained that if Virbhadra does not resign, the central and state BJP leadership will meet President Pranab Mukherjee and seek his removal.
In a statement in the evening, Virbhadra refuted the allegations levelled by Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Jaitley. "It is clarified that that Ispat Industry people have never met me except for once. I have never received any favour from them during my tenure as steel minister and neither any favour had been done to the firm during my period," he said.
About his alleged favours to a certain power project, Virbhadra said it was the erstwhile BJP government that gave the project an extension. "On the other hand my government has taken a decision of cancelling the project thereby upholding the rule of law," he said.