Himachal BJP Chief Resigns Amid Health Corruption Scandal

Ajay Kumar Gupta, director of state's health services, was arrested after a 43-second audio recording went viral where he had allegedly asked the other person on tape for a bribe of Rs 5 lakh, officials said.

Himachal BJP Chief Resigns Amid Health Corruption Scandal

Himachal Pradesh BJP chief Rajeev Bindal today resigned from his post.

New Delhi:

Himachal Pradesh BJP chief Rajeev Bindal today resigned from his post "on the basis of moral grounds," a week after a senior state health official was arrested on corruption allegations.

Ajay Kumar Gupta, director of state's health services, was arrested after a 43-second audio recording went viral where he had allegedly asked the other person on tape for a bribe of Rs 5 lakh, officials said.

NDTV cannot independently verify the authenticity of the audio.

Mr Gupta was arrested by the State Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau (SV&ACB) last Wednesday under the Prevention of Corruption Act, a police official had said. He was subsequently suspended from his post.

Mr Bindal, in a letter sent to party chief Jagat Prakash Nadda, said that some people have raised questions on the party, and hence, he has decided to resign over moral grounds.

"Implicating BJP in this matter is unjust and disrespect to work done by Himachal BJP's work for the society in the time of coronavirus pandemic," Mr Bindal wrote in his letter written in Hindi.

The Congress has alleged that some of the top leaders from party's unit have been involved in the scandal.

Leader Of Opposition and Congress MLA Mukesh Agnihotri said that Mr Bindal's resignation proves involvement of party's top leaders in the alleged scam. "Corruption like this (health) amid global pandemic exposes BJP's real face," he said.

Reacting to the development, Congress' Himachal unit chief Kuldeep Singh Rathore tweeted: "Destruction has started, just now, today."

However, Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jairam Thakur defended Mr Bindal's resignation and said that some of the opposition leaders were falsely implicating the BJP leader in the matter.

"Some opposition leaders were taking Mr Bindal's name in the matter in an unjust manner and he has submitted his resignation to party leadership only on moral grounds," Mr Thakur said, adding that the top leadership will take the further action in this regard.