Remove Himachal CM over graft charges: Congress leader

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Shimla, July 7 (IANS) Senior Congress leader Vijai Singh Mankotia on Friday sought the removal of Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh from the top post “if the party is to survive” as Singn was facing cases of disproportionate assets.

“Virbhadra Singh is misusing the state machinery for defending his CBI and ED cases. He should be ousted in the public interest as central agencies have credible evidences against him,” Mankotia told reporters here.

The Congress leader’s outbursts against the Chief Minister of his own party came in less than 24 hours after he was unceremoniously removed from the post of Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Board’s Vice Chairman.

Mankotia said everything was in public domain about how the Central Bureau of Investigation nabbed a senior functionary of the state Industries Department in a bribery case and his alleged links with the Chief Minister’s Office.

Seeking intervention of the Congress high command into the state affairs, the former two-time Himachal Pradesh Minister said “if the Congress has to survive in the state, it would have to remove the Chief Minister”.

Having lost the assembly elections in 2012, Mankotia was appointed the Tourism Board Vice Chairman in 2014 by the Chief Minister.

Forest Minister Thakur Singh Bharmouri and Excise and Taxation Minister Prakash Chaudhary said Mankotia was in a habit of making false allegations against the government and the Chief Minister whenever the elections were round the corner.

“It seems once again he is playing in the hands of the BJP and trying to mislead the people by spreading all sorts of lies,” they said in a statement.

Meanwhile, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) informed a court in New Delhi on Friday that it will soon file a supplementary chargesheet against LIC agent Anand Chauhan, accused of laundering Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh’s disproportionate assets.

Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Special Judge Virender Kumar Goyal adjourned the matter for September 4 after the ED’s submission.

–IANS

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