Virbhadra Singh apologises to media, says he respects them
Less than 24 hours after his purported threat to the media, Himachal Pradesh Congress chief Virbhadra Singh on Wednesday took a U-turn and said he respected the media. "I respect the media and my intention was not to hurt anybody," Singh told reporters.
Irked over allegations of income tax evasion and money laundering, Singh had threatened the media on Tuesday evening saying, “I will break the cameras” when journalists asked him about the allegations levelled by the BJP.
Later, the Congress apologised for his behaviour. Dismissing the charges as “baseless”, the five-time chief minister told TV news channels during campaigning in Kullu district: “I will deal with all these issues after the election are over November 4.”
Defending himself, Singh said the entire income (reflected in the income tax returns) was from orchards. “I have no other income. The income is maximum from the orchards and almost negligible from other sources,” he said.
On his act against mediapersons, Singh said: “Sometimes reporters do not wait and start asking questions suddenly. This happens here (in Shimla) also.”
He also slammed BJP leader Arun Jaitley for questioning his income. “He has no right to access my accounts,” Singh said about Jaitley.
Earlier in the day, calling it “unfortunate”, Congress spokesperson Sandeep Dikshit said in New Delhi, “If anyone is hurt, we apologise. He should not have spoken like this. But sometimes in the midst of an election campaign such things happen under mental pressure.”