Making a direct attack on Chief Minister Dhumal for the first time, Union Minister Virbhadra Singh demanded a CBI probe into the circumstances leading to the death of Premu Singh of Kajlot village in Dharamsala from whom his sons had allegedly purchased land illegally.

Releasing documents pertaining to the land deal, he said Premu was a landless villager who was allotted land by the government, but he again became landless after the deal. He said the poor villager fought against the politically powerful buyers for some time and subsequently died under mysterious circumstances. He said acquiring land allotted by the government to a landless villager was not only illegal but also immoral. He said the documents were very clear.

Virbhadra Singh said that the BJP was steeped in corruption and its ministers were facing serious charges of graft, and added that instead of taking action against tainted ministers like Rajeev Bindal, the Chief Minister enacted a resignation drama just to allow him to continue in office. Party leaders and supporters were in the race for acquiring land by any means. Projects of favoured parties like Bamloe Builders were illegally given various clearances to construct apartments in Shimla overnight. They were not only allowed to fell trees but also provided road connectivity by diverting funds meant for rural areas.

Virbhadra Singh also criticised BJP over Annandale ground and cleared that he won’t allow it to be turned into concrete jungle. He said that with his supporters he will save Annandale ground form land sharks. He added that Congress is not against its transfer to the state and fervently hoped that it would come under the state’s control one day, but the present government is pursing the matter with ulterior motives. This wonderful natural heritage must remain untouched and the land mafia should not be allowed to cast its shadow on it.

He was all for building a stadium in Shimla and has as Chief Minister laid the foundation stone for one at Katasni on the outskirts of the city, which was a suitable site, but the present government had put the project in cold storage. The Congress would implement the project on coming to power.


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