Close on the heels of losing power in Arunachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand, worries seemed to have mounted in the Congress about similar desertions in Himachal Pradesh as Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh called on party president Sonia Gandhi here on Monday.

Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh
Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh

Virbhadra Singh, also facing a probe by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in a money laundering case, met Gandhi in the presence of party leader Ambika Soni and briefed her about efforts being made to destabilise his government, party sources said.

During his meeting, Virbhadra Singh alleged that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has been trying to destabilise his government for quite some time, as they had toppled Congress chief ministers in Arunachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand.

The meeting between the chief minister and the Congress chief came on a day the opposition BJP created a ruckus in the state assembly in Shimla.

The BJP on its part has denied charges of creating instability and maintained that discontent was instead brewing inside the Congress against the chief minister.

“There is discontent in the Congress against the chief minister. He is only making baseless allegations to garner cheap sympathy,” BJP national secretary Shrikant Sharma said.

Official sources said assets worth over Rs.7 crore were attached by the ED in the money laundering case against the chief minister.

Assets of his son Vikramaditya Singh, the state Youth Congress president, too were attached by the ED recently.

The ED had filed the case against the Congress leader under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act after taking cognizance of a criminal complaint filed by the CBI.

The Delhi High Court on March 16 refused to grant any interim stay on the money laundering case proceedings against the chief minister and others.

Virbhadra Singh on March 23 said the ED’s action to attach his son’s assets in New Delhi was uncalled for.

“It is not being done by court orders but suo motu action of the ED under political pressure from their political bosses,” the chief minister said earlier.

In the 68-member assembly, the Congress has a wafer-thin majority with 36 members while the BJP has 26. There are five independent legislators and one from the Himachal Lok Shakti Party.