Former UPA steel minister accused of taking bribe from Ispat Industries

The United Progressive Alliance (UPA), battling a series of corruption charges, is now faced with yet another embarrassment - the alleged payments of bribes worth Rs2.8 crore by Ispat Industries to a former steel minister.

NDTV reported that income-tax sleuths had seized documents during a raid on the Delhi office of Ispat Industries in November 2010, revealing that the company had paid Rs2.8 crore between October 2009 and August 2010 to the then steel minister.

The report alleges that the expense account details maintained by the company's chairman and managing director, and seized by the tax officials, revealed the payments had been made to one 'VBS.'

Senior Congress leader Vir Bhadra Singh (VBS) happened to be the steel minister between May 2009 and till the end of 2010. But Singh, who is busy campaigning for the state assembly elections in Himachal Pradesh, denied the charges. ''I am not VBS,'' he told reporters. ''Somebody is trying to frame me.''

He charged BJP leaders Arun Jaitley and Anurag Thakur of trying to malign him just before the elections in the hill state.

Pramod Mittal who was once the chairman of Ispat Industries has also denied the charges.