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 BJP demands Virbhadra Singh's resignation

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PostSubject: BJP demands Virbhadra Singh's resignation   Wed Aug 05, 2009 9:11 pm

BJP demands Virbhadra Singh's resignation

Shimla (IANS): The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Himachal Pradesh Wednesday demanded that Steel Minister Virbhadra Singh resign over the corruption charges filed against him.

"We are demanding the resignation of Virbhadra Singh as his name figures in corruption deals," BJP spokesperson and legislator Randhir Sharma told reporters here.

"He should submit his resignation on moral grounds. His adamant approach (not to resign) shows his lust for power," he said.

Virbhadra Singh, a five-time former chief minister, and his wife Pratibha Singh were booked Monday night by the state vigilance and anti-corruption bureau under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.

According to the police, they were booked on the basis of an audio CD released by (Virbhadra Singh's political adversary) Vijai Singh Mankotia in 2007. In the CD, Mr. Virbhadra Singh was heard referring to some monetary transactions on the phone with former IAS officer Mahinder Lal, who is now dead. The CD also contained recordings of his wife, a former MP from Mandi in Himachal Pradesh.

Mr. Virbhadra Singh has refuted the allegations against him and his wife, calling it as an attempt by the BJP-led state government to malign him.

Mr. Mankotia, whose audio CD formed the basis for the graft case against him, has also demanded his expulsion from the cabinet. He had been suspended from the Congress for criticising state leaders and the party high command.

"Virbhadra Singh should be expelled from the union cabinet following the registration of corruption cases against him. The Congress had taken strong action against tainted ministers like Natwar Singh and Shibu Soren, but why is it maintaining silence on Singh is difficult to understand," Mankotia told IANS on phone.

"I have already requested Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress chief Sonia Gandhi to expel him from the cabinet," he added.

The police had sent the CD and their voice samples for analysis at the Chandigarh-based Central Forensic Science Laboratory. The laboratory said the voices of Virbhadra Singh and his wife matched with that on the CD.

Meanwhile, Congress state president Kaul Singh Thakur accused the state BJP government of framing Virbhadra Singh and his wife in false cases before the assembly by-elections of Rohru and Jawali.

"It is a political move by the BJP to defame Singh and his wife before the by-election of Rohru (vacated by Singh). Their aim is just to weaken Virbhadra Singh's wife claim for that seat, but it will boomerang on them," Thakur said.
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