Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Meenakshi Lekhi on Wednesday described the Congress as ‘Hydra headed party’, and said the allegations against the Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh should be debated, as the public has a right to know what exactly happened in Himachal.
“I have always said that the Congress is a Hydra headed party. They talk in different voices at the same time. The public has a right to know what exactly happened in Himachal Pradesh. Instead of protesting against each other, let’s debate the issue and discuss the facts,” Lekhi said in response to the NSUI and Youth Congress in attempting to take a protest march to BJP president Rajnath Singh’s residence on Ashoka Road
“It is such a crime, in which Virbhadra Singh took the bribe through cheque. This is the kind of culpability which exists against him. There should be a proper inquiry in this case,” she added
On Congress comparing Virbhadra Singh’s case with former Karnataka chief minister B.S.Yeddyurappa, who was involved in corruption in Karnataka, “It is strange that one is an incumbent chief minister and the other is now an ordinary citizen since he has resigned from the post. They are being compared, when in fact, there is no comparison between them.”
She further added, “Under these circumstances, it is evident that the Congress wants to dilute the issue and does not want to take action against him. I wonder where Rahul Gandhi is, who was talking about anti-corruption movement a few days ago.
Earlier today, the activists of the Youth Congress and the National Students Union of India (NSUI) were baton charged by Delhi Police, as they sought to take a protest march towards the official residence of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Rajnath Singh
Media reports said that between 40 to 50 Youth Congress and NSUI protesters were taken into custody and moved to the Parliament Street Police Station, as the demonstration took a turn for the worse
Police had to install a three tier barricade in the central part of the national capital to prevent the protesters from moving towards Rajnath Singh’s residence on Ashoka Road
The Youth Congress and the NSUI activists accused the BJP and its allied wings of wrongly protesting outside Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi’s 12 Tuglaq Lane residence on Tuesday over the corruption issue linked to Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh
They also said that the BJP had no right to protest when it was in the process of re-inducting former Karnataka chief minister B.S.Yeddyurappa, who has also been accused of alleged corrupt practices, especially in the mining sector
On Tuesday, the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha had protested in front of Rahul Gandhi’s house here, condemning Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, who has been accused of graft.
The protestors gathered in front of Rahul’s 12, Tughlak Lane residence, and raised anti-Congress slogans. Some even tried to cross the steel and iron barricades
The protestors led by BJP leader and BJYM president Anurag Thakur, demanded action against Virbhadra Singh.
As the situation got out of control, police resorted to a baton charge and used water cannons to disperse the protestors. Some protestors were detained and were taken to a nearby police station.
In a statement in the evening, Virbhadra refuted the allegations levelled by Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun 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
Jaitley had on Monday accused Singh of being involved in three cases of corruption, one of which involved the owner of a private company
"In 2002, hydropower projects were allotted to a few companies in Himachal Pradesh. Out of them Venture Energy and Technology Private Limited defaulted in the project execution, due to which their contract was cancelled. Later, they were given an extension but the project was never made," said Jaitle
"The owner of the company Vanshri Vakamula Chandrashekar got another extension, when Virbhadra Singh became the Chief Minister again a year ago. Singh got an extension of ten months from the cabinet for Chandrashekar, immediately after which Mr. Chandrashekar paid Singh and his wife Pratibha Singh a sum of one crore fifty thousand and two crores respectively," he said
He claimed that the same money was invested in a new company opened by Mr. Chandrashekar called Taarini Enterprise Private Limited, through which, Singh's wife, his son and daughter became its shareholders
"I can almost say without a fear of contradiction, that, in the last few years the kind of corruption cases I have seen, there is nothing more of an open and shut case than this
Everything is on record and I have also written a detailed letter with voluminous documents of all these incidents," he said.