New Delhi: Notwithstanding the controversy surrounding Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh over, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today said he has not looked into the issue as he did not have the time for it, drawing sharp criticism from the BJP.
“I did not have time to apply my mind about what is the truth in the allegations against him,” Singh said in reply to a question on corruption charges levelled against Virbhadra by Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley.
The Prime Minister said he was unable to comment on what is happening in Himachal Pradesh even though he has received a letter from Jaitley in this regard and will try to ascertain the truth.
“I am sorry I am not able to comment on what is happening in Himachal Pradesh. I have seen from newspaper reports. I have received a letter on December 29 from Arun Jaitley,” he said.
Attacking the Prime Minister’s remarks, Jaitley later said, “I think his mindspace on issues of corruption seems to be reducing.”
Asked to comment on the PM’s statement on Virbhadra, Congress general secretary Janardan Dwivedi, however, said, “It is okay. I do not think it (Virbhadra issue) has any direct relation with him (PM).”
Jaitley, when asked as to how he could rationalise the readmission of controversial former Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa into the party as he was also accused of corruption, said the Karnataka leader has returned to the BJP fold unconditionally and “its meaning is crystal clear”.
He said after Yeddyurappa was charge-sheeted in a case, he was removed from Chief Ministership by BJP and after he parted ways the BJP got divided and “we have paid a heavy price”.
The Himachal Chief Minister has been in the eye of a storm after the BJP levelled corruption allegations against him that he favoured a power company with which he and his family has business ties.
BJP has alleged that Virbhadra took a “bribe” from a private power firm, calling the case a “test” for Sonia Gandhi and Rahul on how they respond after their “anger” and outbursts in the Adarsh housing scam.