HP minister denies land fraud charge, demands BJP apology

Himachal Pradesh minister G S Bali on Thursday sought an apology from the BJP for alleging that he had bought “shamlat” land, and threatened to file a defamation case if failed to to do so within 15 days.

A day after the BJP came out with a “chargesheet” listing alleged cases of corruption and irregularities against the chief minister and his ministerial colleagues, the food, civil supplies and consumer affairs minister denied the charges against him at a press conference here.

“I have not purchased any ‘shamlat’ land in Gopalpur area of Kangra district for Rs 1.81 crore. Instead I have purchased the land from Nalini Singh and Rajinder Kour (relatives of Patiala royal family). It does not fall under the forest land category, which cannot be sold,” Bali said.

Refutes allegations

Rejecting the allegations of procuring sugar at a higher rate causing loss of crores of rupees to the state, he said, “If any ‘ghotala’ (irregularity) is proven in sugar purchase then I will quit politics, and if not, Dhumal (leader of the opposition) should quit politics.”Bali said if the BJP, led by Dhumal, doesn’t tender an apology within 15 days, he would send defamation notice to the party. 

He also said that he would soon come out with documentary proof of misdeeds by Dhumal when he was chief minister of the state.

The BJP had on Wednesday dubbed one-year rule of the Congress in Himachal Pradesh a “dark chapter” in the history of the state, marked by rampant corruption, irregularities, and political vendetta. 

It had also submitted a 28-page “chargesheet” to Governor Urmilla Singh against state ministers, seeking a CBI probe.

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