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Virbhadra demands unconditional apology from Kejriwal

Delhi,Politics, Tue, 27 Mar 2012 IANS

New Delhi, March 27 (IANS) Union minister Virbhadra Singh Tuesday asked civil society activist Arvind Kejriwal to tender an unconditional apology for his remarks against him and warned of legal action if the Team Anna member did not apologise for his comments.


In a letter to Kejriwal Tuesday, Singh, who is union minister for micro, small and medium enterprises, said he had been in politics for nearly five decades and had "an outstanding and clean record" in New Delhi and in Himachal Pradesh where he has been chief minister.


"No one has ever levelled an allegation against me except for the BJP government of HP led by Shri Prem Kumar Dhumal," he said.


Singh said he had gone through reports in which Kejriwal has been "credited with" giving a list of 14 ministers against whom charges of corruption need to be investigated.


"You have also included my name in that list. However, it is evident that your information in this regard in sketchy and founded on inexact information," the minister said.


"I, therefore, suggest that you tender an unconditional apology for maligning my name and levelling incorrect allegations failing which I will be constrained to take legal action against you," Singh said.


Naming publications which carried remarks of Kejriwal, he dared the activist to produce the evidence regarding allegations of bribery against him.


Clarifying his stand on the allegations of bribery, Singh said a first information report was registered against him in 2008 by the BJP government in Himachal Pradesh on the "basis of an audio CD allegedly containing my voice from 1989".


"The matter is subjudice and charges have not yet been framed and, therefore, to comment on this matter is not only premature but prejudiced," Singh said, adding that he had filed a defamation case against V.S. Mankotia, a former Congress leader, who had released the CD.


Singh said he had come to know that Kejriwal had visited his Mandi parliamentary constituency and had been "fed these stories and half-truths" by his political opponents.


He said demanding an FIR against him was redundant and no one had made a claim about the origin of the CD.


"As and when charges are framed against me, I would take the next step in this regard. If at all that happens, I will not require you to tell me what to do next or shake my conscience," Singh said in the letter.


The Congress leader said "fabricated charges" were levelled against him during the term of the previous BJP government which were thrown out by the courts of law. "And this time also this case has been registered on the basis of forged CD purely for political vendetta," he said.


Kejriwal had said Sunday that if the Lokpal bill comes into force, FIRs would be filed against 14 ministers of the union government.


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