Himachal’s cricket body cheated the government: CM

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Shimla, Jan 1 (IANS) Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh on Friday accused the HPCA of cheating the government and held the state’s cricket body responsible for his own troubles.

“I don’t have any dispute over cricket as such. I have no problems with the construction of a cricket stadium.

“But we have objection to conversion of the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) into a company in a mischievous manner and then passing on a government property in the said company’s name without information the state government,” the chief minister told the media here.

He said all this was done in consultation with the then chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal.

“The HPCA cheated the state government. They should not have done it. The government gives land on lease and never takes it back. But the intentions of the HPCA were not good,” he said.

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The HPCA is headed by Dhumal’s son and Bharatiya Janata Party MP Anurag Thakur.

The Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau in Himachal registered a case against HPCA on August 1, 2013, in Dharamsala on charges of cheating and criminal conspiracy. It was alleged that the cricket body got itself registered first as a company and later under the Societies Act.

The cricket body then got land on lease in 2001 to construct a stadium in Dharamsala from the Himachal government for a token amount of Re.1. The vigilance claimed that the government could not give land on token money to any company or commercial organisation as per the rules.

As for his problems arising from registration of a disproportionate assets case against him and subsequent CBI raids at his residences in Shimla and Delhi, he said: “If I have done nothing wrong, I should not worry. Why should I suspect that I will not get justice?”

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The Enforcement Directorate has filed a case against Singh under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act and sent him a notice seeking his presence for questioning.

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