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‘HP govt determined to take action against illegal land deals’

Shimla: Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh today said his government was determined to detect all ‘benami’, or illegal, land dealsand take action against those involved.

“The government is laying emphasis to find out benami land deals… Action has been taken against many but we are determined to find out all the benami land deals and take action as per law,” he said.

Referring to the probe against former CM Prem Kumar Dhumal, Singh said that he does not have personal enmity against anyone and added that the investigations which were moving at a slow pace would be speeded up.

“Due to constant provocation from the Dhumals, I have to initiate the probe into their properties,” the chief minister said and advised Dhumals that”those who live in glass houses should not throw stones at others”.

“The investigations against the Dhumals would be as per the law,” he said, adding that nothing would be fabricated and every probe would be fair and impartial and fact-based.

Last week, the HP government ordered a vigilance probe into properties of Dhumal and his family members. The move had come after the state home department decided that the probe would not be entrusted to CBI and investigations would be carried out by the State Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau.

On state BJP’s decision to launch a state-wide agitation against the government, the chief minister said that it was “childish propaganda” and asserted that the Congress party was in power in the state not dueto mercy of the BJP but the full mandate given by the people.

Takinga jibe at the BJP, he said, “We wish BJP to do well, but not unnecessarily indulge in slander campaign and give long ‘bhashans’ (speeches) just for the sake of criticising me.

“It seems that Dhumals have personal enmity against me… We will give a befitting reply to handiworks of the BJP if it provoked us,” Singh added.