As news poured in of Virbhadra Singh and his ex-MP wife being booked for a graft case political temperature in the state has become hot. With BJP supporters burning the effigy of Virbhadra Singh, the Congress men retaliated by burning the effigy of the present Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal. Accusations are being harped with a greater velocity and both parties seem to be in a combative mood.
What has lost in the entire melee is the seriousness of the issue. The Forensic Laboratory in Chandigarh have confirmed the voices in the CD is that of Singh and his wife. On the other hand Singh has already given an affidavit in court that the voice is not his in the CD. This issue alone can be taken up by any of the NGO or the frontal NGO of the BJP and drag Singh to court for years.
The loss of face is enormous for the Raja. Till now his integrity was beyond doubt. Hailing from an erst while royal family he was considered above the petty things politicians do all the times. He has been the longest serving Chief Minister of the state and his role in the development of state cannot be ruled out. But the latest report from the FSL Chandigarh has cast a serious doubt in the mind of the public. Till now the CD was termed as an election gimmick played by the BJP and his arch rival Major Vijay Singh Mankotia.
There has been pretty wild guesses about the source of this CD. Only Major Mankotia knows about the exact source. The third person in this CD has been the late IAS officer Mahinder Lal who was one of the trusted man of Singh. Mahinder Lal as DC Shimla had helped saving the Sarahan estate of Virbhadra Singh. It is being guessed he has been the source of the CD somehow. But the question remains why would he give this CD to Mankotia?
It is also quite interesting to note that this report from FSL Chandigarh had come previous year. Then why was the FIR lodged now? One theory is Singh as Union Minister had been in close touch with some of the BJP MLAs who are from the anti Dhumal group. There was something cooking among Singh and these MLAs. In order to silence Singh, a go ahead was given to lodge the FIR by the government.
The role of his detractors within the party cannot be ruled out. One blunder which he committed was to project his wife as the next leader in the state and this gave a common ground to all his detractors to unite. The manner in which pro-Virbhadra MLAs were taken to task for coming out in the media against the FIR by the Congress CLP leader leaves no doubt that this time Singh is on a very sticky wicket.
It is finally an end of an era for Virbhadra Singh. Whatever line he or his supporters may take the writing is now on the wall. Armed with forensic lab evidence his foes will leave no stone unturned to nail him down. It will be quite a challenge for Singh to come out unscathed this time.