Uttarakhand crisis: BJP asks Harish Rawat why he was telling 'a lie' for 35 days

Dehradun: Noting that Harish Rawat's virtual admission of his presence in the sting CD which purportedly showed him negotiating a money deal to buy support of rebel MLAs amounted to his confession of the "crime", BJP in Uttarakhand on Monday asked the ousted chief minister to give an answer to the people of Uttarakhand.

"It is a confession by Rawat. By confirming that the CD features him in conversation with a journalist, Rawat has confessed to the crime of trying to strike a money deal to buy MLAs who had rebelled against him," State BJP spokesman Munna Singh Chauhan said.

"If this was the fact, why was he trying to mislead the people of Uttarakhand for the last 35 days by calling the CD false, fake and doctored. He must explain to people why he initially said that the face in the CD and the voice in it were not his," he said.

Uttarakhand CM Harish Rawat. PTI

Uttarakhand CM Harish Rawat. PTI

Reminding Rawat of his statement at a press conference soon after the sting CD controversy broke out that the credentials of the journalist who had made the sting video were always under a "cloud of suspicion", the BJP leader said the former chief minister's "confessional remark" that a meeting did take place between him and the scribe proves that his motive was clear – he was going to strike a deal to buy support of disgruntled MLAs of his party.

"Circumstantial evidences like the then CM's visit in a government chopper to the VIP lounge of Jollygrant airport's hangar for a meeting with a journalist whose reputation according to his own statement was under a cloud, suggest that Rawat was knowingly going to strike a deal to buy disgruntled MLAs," Chauhan said.

When told that Rawat has expressed his readiness to be jailed if he had committed any wrong, Chauhan said he will be if he is found guilty by the court.

Chauhan also accused Rawat's former advisors and OSDs of beating the advisor, who had arranged his meeting with the journalist, in the presence of the former CM.

He alleged that the advisor was beaten up as he had failed to return the total amount paid to him for arranging the meeting.

"Would the former CM demand or back our demand for a probe into the thrashing of his advisor by an independent agency?" Chauhan asked.

Rawat, who had been terming the sting CD as "fake", yesterday virtually accepted his presence in the video saying meeting a journalist was not a crime.

"Is meeting a journalist a crime? If one of the MLAs who had not been technically disqualified by that time talked to me … how does it matter?  Do we block any channels in politics?" Rawat told reporters here.

Claiming his innocence, Rawat said if anything in the CD proves that he made an offer in cash or kind in exchange for the support of disgruntled MLAs, he was ready to be hanged in public.

He then offered himself to be jailed, saying he was ready to be subjected to "any atrocity" if that is what Narendra Modi and Amit Shah duo was upto.

Updated Date: May 02, 2016 19:17 PM

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