Virbhadra’s stand on private firm shares concocted: BJP

Shimla, Dec 22: BJP leader Prem Kumar Dhumal’s son Arun Sunday termed Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh’s statement that having private company shares is not wrong, as concocted and misleading.

A day ago, Virbhadra Singh said there was nothing wrong in his family having shares in a private company.

“Tarini Infrastructure is an unlisted company unlike stated by the chief minister and the shares of the company are not listed in any stock exchange of India,” Arun said.

Arun said Virbhadra Singh must come clean as to when these shares were purchased and through which stock exchange, as claimed by the latter.

He asked: “Or was this a preferential allotment in lieu of preferential treatment meted out to the promoter by his (Virbhadra) government?”

The chief minister has been facing criticism from the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) over favouring Delhi-based Tarini Infrastructure, whose Venture Energy and Technology Ltd was handling the 17-MW Sai Kothi hydropower project in Chamba.

The chief minister Saturday clarified that his government Nov 12 cancelled the project allotted to the company over delay in clearing dues (over Rs.57 lakh).

The issue hogged the limelight in the just-concluded winter session of the assembly.

“The shares of an unlisted company can only be bought with the consent and wishes of the promoters unlike buying from stock exchange wherein the promoters’ consent is not required. Therefore, the chief minister needs to clear the air,” Arun said.

He said this would be probably the only case wherein the promoter was lending money for purchase of substantial stake in his own company.

Giving details of his family’s shares in Tarini Infrastructure, the chief minister told reporters in Dharamsala that the firm was a public-listed company.

“The shares purchased are fully paid up and have been purchased as primary shares. In case of (my wife) Pratibha and (children) Aprajita and Vikramaditya, all are above 18 years of age, are Indian citizens and have fully complied with requisite rules and regulations under law and there is no illegality, violation or irregularity, whatsoever,” Virbhadra Singh said.