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Virbhadra Singh quits Union Cabinet, resignation accepted by PM

June 26, 2012 - New Delhi

Union Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Minister Virbhadra Singh resigned from the Union Cabinet on Tuesday, following the framing of corruption charges against him for allegedly misusing his office when he was the Himachal Pradesh chief minister in 1989.

He met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday afternoon and handed over his resignation letter, which was accepted and forwarded with a recommendation to President Pratibha Devisingh Patil.

Singh is expected to address a press conference at his residence later today.

Claiming that he was being framed, Virbhadra Singh said:"Nobody has ever raised a finger ever on my honesty and integrity. When P.K. Dhumal became the Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister, he fabricated the case based on false evidence. I faced the trial and the case was dismissed by the Sessions Court in Shimla."

"Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister PK Dhumal is back to his old antics. I intend to resign to devote full time to fight the case. I intend to catch the bull by horns. I am not afraid of facing trial as my conscience is clear. I will go to court of law and court of people and expose all," he added.

According to the charges framed against Singh, he allegedly granted favours to industrialists and his conversation was recorded in a audio CD.

In the CD, Virbhadra is allegedly heard speaking with IAS officer Mohinder Lal and some industrialists regarding alleged monetary transactions for them to invest in the state.

Charges were framed against the 78-year-old Singh and his wife Pratibha Singh under Section 120 B (conspiracy) of IPC and Sections 7,11 and 13 of Prevention of Corruption Act (PCA) dealing with bribery and criminal misconduct in a 23-year-old case.

The prosecution had filed a charge sheet in 2010. Sources say that Virbhadra had met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi in May to apprise them of the court verdict.


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