People’s verdict is out; Congress party led by the corrupt 78 year old minister Virbhadra Singh has won 36 seats out of 68 in the Assembly elections 2012. Five months before the assembly elections in Himachal Pradesh, on June 26, 2012, Virbhadra Singh resigned from Union minister as a consequence of corruption charges being pressed against him. Virbhadra Singhs’ tax returns and affidavit of assets filed for nomination to the Himachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly elections in 2012 came under scanner after unaccounted cash entries emerged from the documents he filed. His original I-T returns for the year 2009-10, 2010-11 and 2011-12 showed the net agricultural income of Rs. 7,34,000, Rs. 15,00,000 and Rs. 25,00,000 respectively, but the revised I-T returns filed on March 2, 2012 showed increase in income for 2009, 2010, 2011 to Rs. 2,21,35,000, Rs. 2,80,92,500 and Rs. 1,55,00,000. After his account came under scrutiny of tax authorities, Virbhadra Singh admitted filing of revised I-T returns in 2012 for the year 2009, 2010, 2011 by one Anand Chauhan who manages his farms and invests the proceeds from sale of apples in government securities, Mutual Funds, LIC schemes to ensure safe and better returns. It was found that between 2008 and 2010 Anand Chauhan deposited around Rs. 5 crore in cash in his Punjab National Bank account in Shimla and also made deposits by cheque for LIC premiums totalling roughly Rs. 5 crore in favour of Virbhadra Singh, his wife Pratibha Singh and two children, Aparajita Kumari and Vikramaditya Singh. In October 2012 when Virbhadra Singh was questioned by media persons about these allegations against him, his reply was “I will break your cameras. Don’t you have any other work to do?”
Now the same man stands tall and can be the next chief minister of Himachal Pradesh. Isn’t it a real shame to see corrupt people like him coming into power. The person who should be in jail will now dictate his own terms and will enjoy his life for another five years and that too on taxpayers’ money. Who should be held accountable for such ministers coming into power? People of Himachal Pradesh who voted for him or the Congress party who even after knowing the history of Virbhadra Singh, pushed him to lead the Congress election campaign in the state. It’s really a sad moment for the people of Himachal Pradesh that they were left with no choices than voting for a tainted minister. God only knows if the votes were genuinely voted or bought? One thing is clear that corruption will probably never leave our country as the political party leaders are only interested in winning elections and not interested in providing the kind of leadership required to drive modern India.