Union minister Virbhadra Singh resigned, a day after a Himachal Pradesh court slapped corruption charges on him.
Singh’s resignation came just when the Congress was gearing up for elections in his BJP-ruled home state, a mustwin battle for the party to regain momentum after its hopes were punctured by the recent decimation in five states, including UP.
After tendering his resignation to the PM, Singh said he was innocent and the charges in the 23-year-old case would be proved false. Sources said Singh resigned of his own volition because he said he was confident of getting relief from higher courts.
While Singh’s case is sure to add to the opposition campaign against the UPA, with Team Anna claiming vindication, Congress sources felt his resignation had implications for in-house politics in the runup to December polls.
The graft charge, followed by the BJP offensive, would make defeating the rival a personal battle for Singh. There were doubts that he may not put in a wholehearted effort till he was assured of the CM’s post. After resigning,
A five-term CM, Singh is seen to be apprehensive that there are attempts to sideline him in favour of his detractor and Union commerce minister Anand Sharma.