Charges false and motivated, says Virbhadra

With electioneering peaking in Himachal Pradesh, the State Bharatiya Janata Party got new ammunition with the leakage of the “VBS files” alleging payoffs to the former Union Steel Minister, Virbhadra Singh, by a private steel company.

During the ongoing campaign, the BJP was already raising the bribery allegations against Mr. Singh that were recorded in an audio cassette and released by his former colleague, Major Vijay Singh Mankotia.

BJP’s national general secretary Jagat Prakash Nadda alleged that the steel company, ISPAT, paid Rs. 2.28 crore and Rs. 15.30 lakh to the Union Steel Ministry officials as was revealed by the Income Tax Department raids during the tenure of Mr. Singh.

Virbhadra shocked

Meanwhile Mr. Singh said he was shocked by the latest allegations. Calling them false and motivated, he said they were aired deliberately at the time of the Assembly poll campaign.The raids were conducted by the IT department in 2010 and the allegations were surfacing now. Mr. Singh threatened legal action against those behind the malicious campaign. “This is being done at the behest of my political detractors,” he said.