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BJP leaders hacked my bank accounts: Virbhadra
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

What’s Jaitley’s interest?
Dhumal and his sons have been maligning me to deflect attention from their criminal acts in the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Academy case… I don’t understand why Jaitley is going after me. Deeper investigations will reveal his interests. — Virbhadra Singh, himachal cm

New Delhi, January 19
In the thick of controversy ever since senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley accused him of accepting a bribe from a private power firm owner in return for a favour, Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh on Sunday said he would fight the BJP politically and legally and accused its state leaders of hacking his bank accounts.

On the offensive, Virbhadra, in an interview to The Tribune, said while he understood Dhumal’s intentions behind maligning his image, he didn’t understand Jaitley’s interest in the matter.

Jaitley had last month alleged that Virbhadra and his wife Pratibha Singh, also the Mandi Lok Sabha MP, accepted loans worth crores from Vakamullah Chandrashekhar of Venture Energy and Technology whose hydropower project in Chamba got an extension from the Himachal Government despite defaulting 
on penalty.

“Dhumal and his sons have been maligning me to deflect attention from their criminal acts in the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Academy case. Chargesheets will be filed any time now. While Dhumal routinely targets me, I don’t understand why Jaitley is going after me. Deeper investigations will reveal his interests,” Virbhadra said days after filing a defamation case against Jaitley, Dhumal, his MP-son Anurag Thakur and younger son Arun Dhumal.

The CM alleged that BJP leaders hacked his bank accounts, obtained his cheque details and made them public invading his privacy. “I have complained to the State Bank of India and the State Bank of Patiala about the hacking of my accounts. Notices have been issued to BJP leaders,” Virbhadra said.

The Himachal CM insisted that the Congress was behind him, though the party was learnt to have told him to defend himself legally. Asked why Congress president Sonia Gandhi had been refusing to see him, Virbhadra said, “I did not seek an appointment with Sonia Gandhi.”

Asked what he had to say on the BJP’s principal charge — Virbhadra as the Chief Minister — accepted loans from a firm that had business interests in the state, he said, “The loan was taken in 2011 whereas I returned to the state in 2012 close to elections when I was made the state party chief. I did not know a thing about the project back then. I took loans from the firm as I was not eligible for a bank loan on account of my age and I did not want to liquidate my assets or open my investments before maturity. I would have lost interest had I done so. As my investments mature, I am repaying the loans. And who will ever take a bribe by cheque?” he asked.

Counter questioned why his wife Pratibha Singh took loans from Vakamullah considering she was eligible for bank loans, Virbhadra said, “She does not have many investments in banks.”

Claiming innocence, Virbhadra said he will not be pushed around by Dhumal anymore. “I dare him to fight like a man and stop hitting below the belt. I have always ignored his personal vendetta but this time I will take the defamation suit to its conclusion,” said the Himachal Chief Minister, who faced two cases (Sagar Katha and CD case) in the past both during Dhumal regime. He has been acquitted by courts.

Asked why he has not attacked the BJP for hacking his accounts, Virbhadra said, “I will fight them legally and politically. I won’t let them fluster me ahead of LS polls. They are targetting me because they know once I am out, the state is open for them.”

Virbhadra said he would do better than most Congress states in the forthcoming LS polls and the recent charges had not affected his political reputation. Currently, out of four seats in the state, the Congress has Mandi, represented by Pratibha Singh.





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