The Bharatiya Janata Party on Monday claimed there is ample admissible evidence against Congress leader and former Union Minister Virbhadra Singh to investigate allegations he received payments from a private steel firm and demanded a SIT probe.
The Himachal Pradesh's Congress unit on its part defended its chief and described the alleged pay-offs as a "premeditated and deep rooted conspiracy" against Virbhadra Singh and a "cheap political stunt" when he was in the midst of campaign in the poll-bound hill state.
BJP refuted Congress party's attempt to draw parallels between this case and the Jain Hawala Diary case in which L K Advani had faced allegations but was later given a clean chit.
In both these cases, diary entries are the main evidence.
Singh has dismissed the charges against him.
In an article circulated by BJP, Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley has reasoned that the two cases are different and demanded that since CBI, ED staff have also been shown in the Ispat diaries as alleged recipients of the money, only a SIT probe can bring out the truth.
Arguing that the account books recovered during an Income Tax raid on Ispat Industries are admissible evidence, Jaitley said "these are regular books of accounts. There is a serial number, date of payment or reciept, the person to whom the payment is made, the person who authorised the payment, the quantum of money paid or received and the balance which remains in the account."
He alleges these regular books of accounts also reflect a "criminal conspiracy" between a bribe giver and a bribe taker.
"Were these facts known to the prime minister and the Congress president when they took certain decisions with regard to Congress party's organisational changes in Himachal Pradesh? Their silence will reflect on their condonation of corruption," Jaitley said.
Himachal Pradesh Congress Committee Vice President Harsh Mahajan alleged that the accusations of BJP against its chief are a cheap political stunt and nothing more.
"This is being done at the behest of political detractors of Singh and condemned the smear campaign launched against him as a part of a pre-meditated deep political conspiracy", he said in a statement in Shimla