3:13 pm - Thursday December 17, 3531

Ready to quit if charges proved : Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh

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Ready to quit if charges proved : Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh
Ready to quit if charges proved : Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh

Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, facing allegations of bribery, seems to have convinced the Congress party that the BJP had raked up old issues for political gain and there was nothing new.

After meeting senior party leaders in Delhi on Wednesday to explain his take, he sounded confident and announced later in Kullu, where he reached on an official tour, that he was ready to quit if the allegations are proved.

He was unable to meet either AICC chief Sonia Gandhi or party vice-president Rahul Gandhi, who were not in town but later in Kullu, Singh said he had not been summoned by the party High Command but had visited Delhi to celebrate New Year with his family.

In Delhi, he met Congress general secretary Ambika Soni, who is in charge of party affairs in Himachal Pradesh, and furnished documents and a timeline of certain cases in a bid to establish that the allegations were baseless. Singh is understood to have met party spokespersons Abhishek Singhvi and Ajay Maken to explain his stand. Sources said his main claim was that BJP in Himachal Pradesh had raked up old issues and twisted facts ahead of Lok Sabha elections to put the Congress in a spot. Singh is learnt to have given Singhvi, also an eminent lawyer, certain documents and given a report on certain allegations to get legal opinion.

Sources said some party top brass have given Singh feedback that there was no sword hanging over his head, as yet. The Youth Congress even held an agitation against BJP president Rajnath Singh outside his house in Delhi.

The CM wanted to meet the President as well as the Prime Minister. Sources said he has sought time to meet them in near future.

He brushed aside media reports he was summoned by the Congress high command after BJP leader Arun Jaitley wrote to the Prime Minister as well as the Congress president about allegations BJP leaders in Himachal Pradesh had made against him. “I went to Delhi to celebrate new year with my family there. I was not summoned by the party,” he told mediapersons in Kullu.

He said BJP had been targeting him, first to bring the party back to power in Himachal during 2012 polls and thereafter to create hurdles in probing allegations of corruption and misuse of power by former CM Prem Kumar Dhumal and his family.

He said, “I am ready for any probe. I have nothing to fear as I have done no wrong. Even if a single charge is proved, I will quit politics.”

But if charges are not proved, all targeting him should be prepared to quit politics, he said.

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