HImachal CM may face graft charges

I’ve been framed, he counters

Shimla: Pandemonium prevailed in the Himachal Pradesh Assembly today, the second day of the monsoon session, as opposition BJP MLAs engaged in a bitter exchange of words with Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh over media reports that CBI has finalised the charge-sheet against him in a disproportionate assets case.

BJP MLA Maheshwar Singh raised the issue after the question hour.

The chief minister shot back, accusing Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, former Chief Minister P K Dhumal and BJP MP Anurag Thakur of framing him in false cases and victimising him.

The CM said, “I am not scared of such charge-sheets. I have faced trial in session court twice earlier during the regime of Dhumal in the past and came out clean. I will face it this time also and fight it out and have full faith in judiciary. These are politically motivated charges and I would not be cowed down by such things.”

Provoked by the remarks of the chief minister, the BJP members started raising slogans and staged a walkout but returned after a few minutes.

The CM said that it was a fallout of the action taken by his government against alleged irregularities in the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA), led by Anurag Thakur.

Singh accused Jaitley, Dhumal and Anurag Thakur of unleashing a “malicious” campaign against him.

The BJP members wanted to speak on the issue but Speaker Brij Bihari Lal Butail continued the proceedings.

On this, BJP member Ravinder Ravi got furious and asked the Speaker to allow the opposition to raise the issue.

Ravi broke the microphone on his desk and the entire BJP rushed near the podium of the Speaker and raised slogans.

The Speaker later adjourned the House for the day and said the “act of particular BJP member to damage the property of the house is contempt of the house”.

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