Himachal's BJP president Rajeev Bindal quit on moral grounds as he was close to one of the persons figuring in the audio clip over the purported demand of a bribe by a state's Health Department from a Punjab's private firms' executive, Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur said on Thursday.
The state's Vigilance and Anti Corruption Bureau had on May 20 arrested now-suspended Himachal Pradesh Health Services Director Ajay Kumar Gupta after a 43-second audio clip in which he purportedly asked Prithvi Singh, reportedly a liasioning officer for Punjab's Dera Bassi-based firm Bio Aid, for a bribe of Rs 5 lakh went viral.
Responding to various queries here on Thursday, the chief minister told media that Bindal was close to the other person (Prithvi Singh), so his name was being associated with the alleged scam. That was why, he resigned on moral grounds, he added.
Moreover, the resignation by the state BJP president is a matter under jurisdiction of the party high-command, he added.
The health scam had taken a political turn on May 27, when state BJP chief Rajeev Bindal resigned from his post, claiming that he was doing so to ensure a proper investigation into the corruption charges against the director.
In a letter to BJP national president J P Nadda, Bindal had said he was tendering his resignation on moral grounds as some people were "dragging the party's name" into the issue.
On Congress demand of issuance of White Paper and entrusting probe into the scam to a sitting high court judge, Thakur said the opposition has every right of making demands but it was not essential that their every demand should be met.
Evading direct reply on Cabinet expansion, he said that he had already talked to the high command about that and the vacant berths in the Cabinet would be filled, when it asks him to do so.
Thakur said the state government would lodge an FIR in connection with an anonymous letter whereby it had been alleged that ventilators had been purchased at excessive rates.
Urging the Congress Legislative Party (CLP) leader Mukesh Agnohtori to not to do politics in this corona phase, the CM said the government also gets thousands of anonymous letters regarding him and other Congress leaders.
The CM said the state government did whatever it can by arresting the health services director after the audio clip went viral. This can be done only by a person who himself is clean, he added.