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HPCA: Governor Urmila Singh’s decision on CM PK Dhumal ‘biased’

Anurag Thakur © PTI
Anurag Thakur © PTI

Dharamsala: Apr 3, 2014

The Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) on Thursday criticised Governor Urmila Singh for her “hasty” decision to grant sanction to prosecute former Chief Minister P K Dhumal in a case related to the sports body, and said her “action is biased”.

“The Governor’s action is biased and is a misuse of her constitutional powers. She seems to be in a hurry to please the Congress-led state government by signing the vigilance bureau’s file (seeking sanction for prosecution) within 24 hours,” HPCA PRO Sanjay Sharma told reporters in Dharamshala.

Dhumal has been accused of misusing his office as Chief Minister to grant approvals for allotment of lands to HPCA headed by his son and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP, Anurag Thakur.

Sharma said the decision was to defame Dhumal and his son, who is seeking re-election from the Hamirpur Lok Sabha seat, ahead of the polls.

He said the decision on Dhumal’s prosecution was taken in haste “whereas she (the Governor) has been ignoring BJP’s ‘charge-sheet’ against corrupt Congress leaders submitted to her in August last year”.

Sharma said the charges against Dhumal “are nothing but a bundle of lies” and alleged the vigilance file was prepared under the guidance of a retired IPS officer who had worked with incumbent Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh during his tenure at the Centre.

He also alleged that the state election commissioner had been ignoring HPCA’s complaint over three re-employed IAS officers working in the Chief Minister’s Office.

Sharma said HPCA would again write to the authorities on the issue and send a copy to the Chief Election Commissioner.

Alleging corruption, he also demanded a vigilance inquiry into affairs of the Rohroo Cricket Association led by the Chief Minister’s son.

The Governor had, on Wednesday, granted sanction to prosecute former Chief Minister Dhumal in the HPCA case. Sources in the state’s Vigilance and Anti Corruption Bureau said the charge-sheet in the case would be filed in court soon.

Prominent among the 18 persons named in the charge-sheet are Dhumal, his MP son Anurag Thakur (who is also president of HPCA), two Additional Chief Secretary Deepak Shanan, IAS officer Ajay Sharma (currently posted as DC, Bilaspur) and then Kangra deputy commissioner R S Gupta.

It is, however, not certain whether or not the state government will seek sanction from Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar to prosecute Anurag.

“Since Anurag committed the offence in his capacity as HPCA president and not as MP, we are contemplating whether or not to seek sanction from the Speaker,” a senior vigilance bureau official said.

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