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Prem Kumar Dhumal denies extending land allocation favour to HPCA

Anurag Thakur © PTI
Anurag Thakur © PTI

Shimla: April 17, 2014

BJP leader Prem Kumar Dhumal on Thursday dismissed the allegations that he extended favour to the Himachal Pradesh cricket body during his tenure as chief minister.

Dhumal, also leader of the opposition, said the charges were “politically motivated”.

“Virbhadra Singh (the state chief minister) has been misleading the public by saying I extended favours to the HPCA (Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association) by being its patron-in-chief,” Dhumal said in a statement.

He clarified that he never remained its patron-in-chief. “Neither have I attended any HPCA meeting nor extended any favour to it,” Dhumal, chief minister from 2007 to 2012, said.

The state Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau in August last year filed a cheating and misappropriation case against the HPCA over alleged wrongdoing in allotment of land to the sports body for constructing a residential complex for players near its stadium in Dharamsala, 250 km from Shimla.

The state government on April 2 got sanction to initiate proceedings against Dhumal for alleged wrongdoing in allotment of land during his regime to the HPCA, led by his son and Lok Sabha member Anurag Thakur, also joint secretary in the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

Dhumal said he had clarified to the Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau while replying to its questionnaire in February last that he was never associated with it.

He said it was wrong to say the government land was allotted to HPCA for constructing the residential complex for players on a mere Re.1 annual lease. “The lease amount is actually Rs.27 lakh per annum.”

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