Shimla, Sep 15 (PTI) Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh today alleged that work on the Swan River Channelisation project had been hit as the Centre was not releasing funds.

The work on the Rs 922-crore project for channelising the Swan river and its 73 tributaries is still in progress, but there has been “inordinate” delay due to shortage of funds, he said at a public meeting at Amb in Una district.

“The funds are yet to be released by the Centre despite several requests. In the first phase, the state’s contribution was Rs 99 crore against an estimated cost of Rs 330 crore.

“The balance was to be given by Union Ministry for Water Resources. However, just Rs 189 crore and another small amount has been released since the project was commissioned,” Singh said.

On his court cases, the chief minister said, “A lot has been said about the cases in which I have been falsely implicated. But I am a person who will not be cowed down by villainous moves.”

He said that it was true that he was “tired” but he will fight the nefarious designs of the BJP, and oppose its every move.

“I am tired, but not defeated. The BJP should forget about defeating me,” Singh said, adding that he hoped that he would be acquitted in all the cases “fabricated by his opponents”.

The propaganda unleashed by the BJP is a bundle of lies and as the elections are round the corner, it is trying to indulge in character assassination, the chief minister alleged.

“Their modus operandi is to attack Congress leaders they fear the most. They are forgetting that the Congress was a party of soldiers and there was no dearth of good leaders,” he said.

“Now, the BJP is targeting me and I want to send a message to the prime minister and the state BJP that Virbhadra was not afraid of their modus operandi,” Singh said told reporters here.

He said that the entire party was with him and only a handful of leaders were opposing him.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.