"I did not have time to apply my mind about what is the truth in the allegations against him," Singh said in reply to a question on corruption charges levelled against Virbhadra by Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley. (Agencies)
The Prime Minister said he was unable to comment on what is happening in Himachal Pradesh even though he has received a letter from Jaitley in this regard and will try to ascertain the truth.
"I am sorry I am not able to comment on what is happening in Himachal Pradesh. I have seen from newspaper reports. I have received a letter on December 29 from Arun Jaitley," he said.
Jaitley later criticized the Prime Minister over his remark.
“I think his ‘mind space’ on issues of corruption seems to be reducing,” he said.
Asked to comment on the Prime Minister’s statement on Himachal CM, Congress general secretary Janardan Dwivedi said: “It is okay. I do not think it (Virbhadra issue) has any direct relation with him (PM).”
Meanwhile, when asked as to how he could rationalize the readmission of controversial former Karnataka chief minister B S Yeddyurappa in BJP as he was also accused of corruption, Jaitley said the Karnataka leader has returned to the BJP fold unconditionally and ‘its meaning is crystal clear’.
Jaitley said after Yeddyurappa was removed from chief ministership by the BJP after he was chargesheeted in a case.
The Himachal Chief Minister has been in the eye of a storm after the BJP levelled corruption allegations against him that he favoured a power company with which he and his family has business ties.
The BJP has alleged that Virbhadra took ‘bribe’ from a private power firm, calling the case a ‘test’ for Congress President Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul Gandhi.
Demanding a CBI probe into the ‘most open and shut case of corruption’, Jaitley, who has written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, wanted to know what action would the Congress High Command take against Virbhadra.
The Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister has so far denied the allegations levelled against him, dubbing them as ‘false and highly defamatory’. Virbhadra said he was ready to face any probe.
The Congress Party has also rubbished the charges, and said these were old allegations.
Virbhadra had rushed to Delhi following the allegations and briefed AICC general secretary in-charge of Himachal affairs Ambika Soni and former party spokesman Abhishek Singhvi.
At a news conference in Delhi, Jaitley also alleged that Virbhadra’s wife and children were made shareholders in another firm of the same promoter, who owns the power company, apparently in exchange of the favour showed by the state government.
In a five-page letter to the Prime Minister, Jaitley said these are cases which require an immediate investigation by both the Income Tax authorities and also the CBI.
"I did not have time to apply my mind about what is the truth in the allegations against him," Singh said in reply to a question on corruption charges levelled against Virbhadra by Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley.