A day after Himachal Pradesh Bharatiya Janata Party chief, Rajeev Bindal resigned in the midst of vigilance inquiry into alleged corruption in health department on ‘moral grounds’, the opposition Congress today stepped up attack and said it is a big question mark on the credibility of BJP government in Himachal Pradesh.
Talking to media persons here, State Congress President, Kuldeep Singh Rathore said the BJP government cannot wash its hands of the alleged corruption and demanded judicial probe by a sitting High Court judge into it.
“The opposition doubts the fairness of vigilance inquiry as state BJP chief has resigned and Chief Minister, Jai Ram Thakur is currently the health minister as well as Home Minister,” he said.
“The Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau (under Home department) cannot hold an impartial inquiry in such a situation as the scam pertains to health department and CM is holding both,” Rathore added.
He said only a sitting High Court judge can conduct a fair inquiry into it. “I have discussed the issue with leader of opposition, Mukesh Agnihotri and former CM, Virbhadra Singh as well. The Congress party will out pressure on the government for judicial probe so that truth comes out,” he said.
Rathore said the health department scam amid COVID-19 crisis has spoiled Himachal’s image in the entire country and it is injustice with people, who donated for CM relief fund in view of the pandemic. “This all happened under the nose of Chief Minister,” he said.
Referring to the arrest of then Director, Health Services last week over audio-clip allegedly indicating corruption in health department, the state Congress chief said, no officer can dare do without backing.
He said the resignation by state BJP chief is a big development. “It has vindicated the Congress party’s stand as we had alleged that some big leaders are associated with the scam in health department,” he said.
Rathore said a new chapter has started in the BJP government after two and a half years of rule, and that too during Covid-19 crisis.
“Many scandals are now coming out in health department whether it is sanitizer scam in the secretariat or the purchase of costly sanitizers by the Chief Medical Officers in Himachal. There have been cases of manufacture of substandard medicines as well in HP before this, but the government’s intentions are not clean. There is no action into all those,” he said.
The state Congress President said the officers in Jai Ram government are totally indifferent and that is why the cases of COVID-19 have increased in Himachal manifold. “The Congress party believes that it is the right of the people of Himachal to come back to the home state COVID-19 crisis. But we had warned the government that it should bring all those people back by following proper protocol of testing and quarantine, But the government remained negligent and did not follow the protocol, because of which the state is now suffering,” Rathore alleged.
He asked the government to take action against the erring officers, who earlier sent 15 people homes saying they were negative for COVId-19 and after three days, their tests reported positive. “After staying in homes for three days, they have now been shifted to hospitals. This is sheer negligence,” he said.