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The BJP today accused the Congress of "shielding and patronising" graft and choosing Virbhadra Singh as chief minister of Himachal Pradesh who was facing probes by various agencies for being in a "sea of corruption".
Attacking Singh, BJP national spokesperson Sambit Patra said that the chief minister was in a "sea of corruption" and facing probe by the CBI, the ED and the Income Tax,but the Congress high command allowed him to rule the state for nearly five years, may be for the reason that the AICC president and vice president and some other leaders were facing graft charges and are on bail.
"The revised Income Tax returns filed by Singh shows his income from apple orchards in crore of rupees against income of few lakh rupees mentioned in the original returns," he alleged, adding that the unemployed youths of the states were curious to see the orchards which produced "Golden apples".
Patra told reporters that Singh was shifted from the Steel ministry, during the UPA regime, and later he was made to resign from the ministry of Small and Medium Enterprises after charges were framed against him by a Shimla Court.
"But, still the Congress high command chose him as best bet to lead the party in Himachal Pradesh," he said.
Asked that whether the BJP would project any leaders in HP assembly polls, Patra parried the question saying, "BJP will win the elections and form the government in Himachal Pradesh".
He further said that the government run by "retired, tired and hired" officers in the state would not survive and the BJP would form a government which would be free from corruption and dedicated to the welfare of the people.
In reply to questions on dynastic politics, Patra said that the BJP did not practice such politics as "for the BJP, the entire party is a family while for the Congress, family was the party".
Comparing the phenomenal rise in Singh's income from apple orchards with money siphoned off allegedly by the family of Laloo Prasad from fodder scam, he said both of them were facing charges of amassing wealth through questionable means and are on bail.
"The LIC agent Anand Chauhan who purchased LIC policies worth crores of rupees in the name of Singh and family members is in jail and the chief minister was on bail and his deeds like renting out his house to Vakamullah and purchase of farm house in Mahrauli by overtly taking loans from Vakamullah were being investigated by the ED and IT departments," the BJP leader said.
He alleged that officers were being pressurised to collect money from industrialists and other sources to pay the fee of lawyers engaged by the Chief Minister to defend himself in court cases.
He said that it was strange that the Congress had been claiming that nothing had come out in the enquiry against their leaders but when cases were registered and raids were conducted, they cried foul and dubbed it as "political vendetta".
No doubt, the chief minister managed to survive in office inspite corruption charges but ultimately justice would prevail, he said.
He alleged that the drugs, mining, forest and liquor mafias thriving in the state under protection from the government, and the Himachal Beverages Corporation, set up for handling liquor trade, had outsourced the trade to a company, allegedly having links with family of Singh.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)