CD war hots up in Himachal; This time BJP in the loop

Controversial CDs purportedly containing the voice of Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal ordering tapping of Union Minister Virbhadra Singh’s telephone have surfaced but Dhumal on Wednesday (January 20) rubbished their contents and ordered a CID probe into the issue.

“I have asked the state CID to carry out a probe into the CDs to bring truth before the people,” Dhumal said, while categorically denying the charge and dubbing the CDs as “fake and fabricated”.

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The probe will be carried out by Additional Director General of Police, CID, I D Bhandari, official sources said. No time frame has been fixed for completion of the task, but the CID has been asked to submit its report “at the earliest”, they said.

A packet containing two audio CDs and one video CD was sent to some newspaper offices here last night. In one audio CD, Dhumal, who belongs to BJP, is purportedly giving a “go ahead” to Director General of Police (State Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau) D S Manhas to tap phones of his Congress rival Virbhadra Singh and his wife Pratibha Singh.

Excerpts of the conversation:

Dhumal: Lets make a CD & audio recording to highlight it.
DGP Manhas: Tap Virbhadraji & Pratibhaji’s phone?
Dhumal: Yes, we need to tape the phone.
DGP Manhas: Yes, we will do it, we will do it.
Dhumal: As a CM I have taken 25 cr rupees. You can take that. Okay?
DGP Manhas: Okay.
Dhumal: When we get more, you will get a share

Singh, who served as Chief Minister five times before becoming a union minister, had in the past alleged that his telephones were being tapped by the state authorities. The second audio CD, which also purportedly carried Dhumal’s voice, pertained to a 2007 audio CD in which the Chief Minister had said he did not have anything to do with the recording of the Union Minister’s phone in 1989.

Lashing out at Dhumal, the Union Minister said that he all along knew about the “antics” adopted by the Chief Minister. “Dhumal should not have been a politician, but a spy,” he retorted.

The video CD is shown featuring BJP MP from Shimla, Virendra Kashyap, purportedly accepting money from some unidentified persons for acquiring land for setting up an educational institution in Solan.

The sting operation on the MP is believed to have been carried out on the eve of last general elections and it became an issue for the Congress during the Lok Sabha polls. As the CDs surfaced, state Congress President and MLA Kaul Singh Thakur demanded a CBI inquiry into the matter. “The matter (highlighted through the CDs) are grave. Hence an inquiry by CBI should be conducted to bring out the truth,” Thakur said.

Meanwhile, when asked if he suspected the hand of opposition Congress behind the CDs, Dhumal said, “The truth will come out in the CID inquiry.”

Source: Times Now

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