New Delhi: BJP leader Arun Jaitley today dared Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra to file a defamation case against him for alleging that he had taken bribe from a private power company and said he would cross examine him in court on each of the charges.
“Virbhadra Singh has said that he would consider filing a defamation action against me. He is certainly entitled to do so. In that event I would be pleading truth as defence and cross examining him on each of these issues,” Jaitley, a renowned lawyer, wrote on his Facebook.
Claiming that he has “ample evidence” against Virbhadra Singh, the Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha asked Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi to examine this and make a public declaration as to why they feel he is “still innocent”.
Singh has denied the charges and said BJP was indulging in a “malicious campaign”.
The BJP leader has written a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in which he had levelled the charges. He also attached 20 documents claiming these to be as “evidence”. A copy of the documents has also been sent to the CBI director.
“The (Congress) party has challenged me to produce the evidence. The entire evidence is documentary and submitted both to the Prime Minister and the Director CBI. The evidence is also available on my website,” he said.
“Desperate Dhumals have launched a full throtle vicious attack against me with an ill-intention of hurting my image and reputation and obstructing the progress of the Congress government in the state,” the Himachal Chief Minister said.
His attack on the BJP came on a day when BJP youth wing led by Anurag Thakur, son of former Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister P K Dhumal, held a protest against the Virbhadra Singh outside the residence of Rahul Gandhi.
He accused Jaitley of levelling “wild” and “baseless” allegations and illegally procuring his IT return details.
“Arun Jaitely not only procured details of my Income Tax returns, which cannot be obtained even under RTI without the consent of the assesse, but also flashed them at a press conference in Shimla on October 23, 2010, withholding parts of it to suit his political agenda,” Singh said adding that he had the brought the matter to the notice of Congress chief.
He said Jaitley had leveled same old charges of Income Tax Returns and giving favours to Ispat Industry by him.
“Preliminary inquiry is being made by the CBI, Delhi Branch, on the basis of an anonymous complaint on the same old charges and has been included in the PIL filed by (lawyer) Prashant Bhushan in the Delhi High court after the government initiated a case of illegal land purchase by him,” Singh said.
He termed the cases as “foul play” and said all these cases have been maneuvered by the BJP to “hamper the progress of Congress party and government” in the state.
“I am personally being targeted as I have single handedly launched attack on the BJP and am working to strengthen the Congress party in all areas of the state.
“BJP is forseeing defeat in all four seats in the state in the coming parliamentary elections. The entire BJP, after targeting senior UPA ministers, is also trying to destablise Congress in the states including mine and the sole objective of the BJP is simply to harm the Congress party keeping in view forthcoming General elections,” Singh said.
He said that after coming to power in Himachal, his government handed over a chargesheet to the State Vigilance Department and that hurting the BJP leaders.
“The chargesheet contained serious charges of corruption and land scams against P K Dhumal and his family members, high profile land cases involving Ramdev’s Patanjali Yogpeeth, Shanti Bhushan and Prashant Bhushan’s trust, HPCA’s hotel, Bemloe construction, Annandale area etc.
“All the acts of omission and comission are enlisted in the chargesheet are now being probed and BJP leaders are feeling the heat of it,” Singh added.