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Himachal CM Virbhadra Singh must resign, says BJP

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New Delhi: A day after Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh’s houses in the hilly state and Delhi were raided by the CBI in a disproportionate assets case, the state BJP on Sunday sought his resignation on moral grounds.

“After an FIR has been registered by the CBI, Virbhadra Singh has no moral right to continue as chief minister. He must resign,” Shrikant Sharma, the BJP secretary and incharge of Himachal Pradesh, said here in a statement.

The BJP leader also accused the Congress of benefiting from Virbhadra Singh’s alleged corruption.

“Why is Congress leadership defending him? How much commission has Congress received from his corruption,” Sharma asked while claiming that BJP’s accusations about Virbhadra Singh’s corruption have been proven.

“Since long we have been raising the issue of corruption cases against Virbhadra Singh but erstwhile Congress-led UPA government tried to hide it. After an FIR was registered, our allegations have been proved,” Sharma said.

The CBI raided the chief minister’s houses in a disproportionate assets case against him and his family even as he prepared for his daughter’s wedding.

Virbhadra Singh has refuted the allegations, while the Congress called the raids part of “Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s hate agenda“.

(With inputs from IANS)

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Algeria Embarking ‘Clean Hands’ Campaign Against Corruption, Questions Tycoons

Corruption is a major complaint of the masses of protesters who helped drive longtime leader Abdelaziz Bouteflika from office earlier this month

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algeria, clean hands campaign, corruption
FILE - Protestors carry a large flag and chant slogans during a demonstration against the country's leadership, in Algiers, April 12, 2019. VOA

Algerian authorities are embarking on a “Clean Hands” campaign aimed at rooting out corruption that has been linked to top tycoons and current and former government officials. Corruption is a major complaint of the masses of protesters who helped drive longtime leader Abdelaziz Bouteflika from office earlier this month. New protests are scheduled for Friday.

Several influential Algerians have been questioned or arrested in recent days. Among them is Issad Rebrab, head of Algeria’s biggest private conglomerate Cevital, who is suspected of possible customs-related violations and other financial wrongdoing, according to prosecutors.

Rebrab, 75, is estimated by Forbes to be Algeria’s richest man and employs 18,000 workers in his agribusiness empire. He tweeted that he went in voluntarily for police questioning. He was questioned for six hours before being taken to the El Harrach prison.

clean hands campaign, corruption
Corruption is a major complaint of the masses of protesters who helped drive longtime leader Abdelaziz Bouteflika from office earlier this month. VOA

Others targeted include a legislator accused of accepting bribes from a Chinese company. Also detained for questioning this week were three wealthy brothers believed close to Bouteflika’s brother Said, and seven Industry Ministry officials suspected of “non respect of contractual commitments with state enterprises” and influence trading.

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The Kouninef brothers’ lawyers said they are respecting the legal procedures but need time to consult the case files before commenting. The brothers made their fortune in the oil, food and advertising businesses.

The highest court in Algeria announced in a statement Wednesday that it is considering a case against ex-energy minister Chakib Khelil for acts related to “violations of foreign exchange laws and transfers of capital to foreigners.” Khelil is a close friend of Bouteflika and a high school classmate. Other former ministers are also targeted. (VOA)