Himachal govt orders probe into BJP leader Dhumal’s assets


Shimla: The Congress government in Himachal Pradesh on Friday ordered a vigilance probe into the charge that BJP leader Prem Kumar Dhumal and his family amassed assets disproportionate to their known sources of income, an official said.

“The government has ordered an inquiry into the charge on the acquisition of properties by Dhumal during his two stints as chief minister of Himachal. It will be conducted by the vigilance and anti-corruption bureau,” a senior police official, requesting anonymity, said.

He said the investigating agency would soon send a questionnaire to Dhumal and his sons, including the member of parliament Anurag Thakur, to seek their responses to the allegations.

In August, Dhumal had demanded a probe and action from Prime Minister Narendra Modi into the charge that he and his family amassed assets disproportionate to their known sources of income.

In a letter, provided to the media by the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party, Dhumal said the Congress government had unleashed a malicious campaign against him and his family since it came to power (in December 2012).

“Like on previous occasions, a list of assets allegedly owned by my family and me has been sent to the state additional director general of vigilance. The complaint is without any affidavit,” said the letter dated August 7.

On the basis of this list, the chief minister (Virbhadra Singh) and the vigilance officials have been conducting a misinformation campaign against him, said Dhumal.

Asking the prime minister to secure an affidavit from the complainant, Dhumal said an inquiry either by a judge of the Supreme Court or by the CBI should be conducted into the allegations.

Dhumal’s elder son Anurag Thakur is secretary of the Board of Control for Cricket in India and a three-time MP from Hamirpur.

His youngest son Arun Dhumal is vice-president of the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association.

The former chief minister has said similar allegations were levelled against him by the Congress during the 2003 assembly elections too.

(With inputs from agencies)