Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh on Thursday ruled out resignation in the wake of corruption charges against him by the Bharatiya Janata Party, and said he was ready to face any probe by any agency.
"Only if charges are proved," he said, responding to questions from reporters on whether he would resign in the wake of allegations of corruption against him.
Refuting allegations, Virbhadra reiterated that he was ready to face any probe and accused BJP, and some Congress leaders (without naming anyone), of hatching a conspiracy against him.
The chief minister argued that his family members were adults and at liberty to make investment like any individual person, and claimed that the investments made by them in a company were less than 1 per cent.
He explained that when he took loan from the private company in question, he was not in power and was "a common man", and claimed that all payments were made through transparent mode by cheque.
Virbhadra said the entire propaganda against him was launched by his rival P K Dhumal and his son Anurag Thakur of BJP to divert attention from the investigation into the irregularities committed by Thakur-headed Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association during Dhumal's tenure as chief minister of the state.
Meanwhile, Congress workers led by vice-chairman of State Forest Development Corporation Kewal Singh Pathania burnt the effigies of senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley and Thakur at Dharamsala protesting the propaganda against Virbhadra.
Lashing out at Thakur, Pathania said the cricket body (HPCA) had got benefits from the then state government in violation of rules, and the assets acquired by HPCA are "property of the state and the people".
Image: Himachal CM Virbhadra Singh