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BJP Himachal Pradesh President Dr. Rajeev Bindal resigned from his post on Wednesday, within just four-and-a-half months of his appointment, after the allegations of health department scam that was reported a week ago.
On May 20, Senior Himachal Pradesh Health Services Officer Ajay Kumar Gupta was suspended over alleged procurement of COVID-19 medical supplies worth Rs 5 lakh, including those from outside the state, The Indian Express reported.
The case came into light after a 43-second audio recording went viral, in which he purportedly asked the other person for a bribe of Rs 5 lakh.
Gupta was arrested by the State Vigilance and Anti Corruption Bureau (SV & ACB) under the Prevention of Corruption Act. Speaking to the news agency earlier that week, SP Shalini Agnihotri said that she verified the contents of the audio clip 'through confirmed sources'.
The vigilante reportedly stated that Bindal's close aide, who also happens to be an employee of a diagnostic centre owned by his daughter and son-in-law, Prithvi, offered Rs 5 lakh bribe to Dr AK Gupta, India Today reported.
State Congress In-Charge, Rajni Patil, alleged that the person heard "offering the bribe" is a "ruling party leader".
However Bindal denied any link to the case and said that the resignation was not influenced by it in any way, and was purely based on 'high moral grounds'.
The resignation letter by Bindal to BJP National President J P Nadda read, "Because I am the BJP state president and we want this alleged corruption to be thoroughly probed and so that there is no pressure of any kind and the probe is not influenced in any way, I am tendering my resignation keeping in mind high moral grounds. It is to be kept in mind that I am only resigning on the basis of high moral grounds."
When the Indian Express contacted Bindal, he said that everything was clearly mentioned in the letter and no other meaning shall be taken out of it other than the given.
Bindal served as a Speaker of the State Assembly, up till January 18, after which he was appointed as the state BJP head by Nadda.
The ruling party faced a flak from Congress who said that corruption was uncontrollable and unrestrained under Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur's leadership, and that the government cannot get rid of the "sin of corruption" in the health department amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
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