Alleging that the ruling Congress was becoming synonymous with corruption, the Bharatiya Janata party on Saturday alleged that there was ample evidence against Congress leader Virbhadra Singh of receiving money from a private steel firm and demanded an immediate probe into the matter.
"Everyday, a new skeleton of corruption tumbles out of the Congress closet. The latest in this series is VBS. The then steel minister is suspected to have received Rs 2.28 crore illegally from a private firm. As it is an issue of quid pro quo arrangement, it needs to be investigated immediately," BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said.
He was referring to the seizure of certain diaries by the income tax department from Ispat Industries -- in which there is an entry of a payment of Rs 2.28 crore to one VBS. BJP has claimed that it refers to Virbhadra Singh.
Singh has denied the charge, saying he uses the initials VS and that he has not received any such payment.
"Here what matters is not how he (Singh) writes his initials but how the paying company recognises him. These diaries were recovered during an income tax raid and have elaborate entries including the amount paid," Javadekar said.
The BJP further alleged that though the IT department had written to the vigilance officers of the concerned ministries, it did not follow up on the issue for two years. It sought an explanation from the finance minister about this.
The Opposition also raised questions about how Ispat Industries was sold just 21 days after the IT raid to Jindal Steel, which is owned by a Congress MP.
"The Congress party makes a virtue out of corruption and presents a fallen guy as a hero. Congress is synonymous with corruption," Javadekar said.