Uttarakhand crisis: CM Rawat offering cash to MLAs in latest sting
Allegations of horse-trading and blackmailing flew thick and fast today ahead of May 10 trust vote, as Harish Rawat came under attack over a new sting video with BJP accusing him of trying to "buy" legislators while the ousted Uttarakhand Chief Minister claimed that MLAs were being threatened and their phones tapped by central agencies.
A purported sting video targeting Harish Rawat which allegedly showed a conversation between rebel Congress MLA Harak Singh Rawat and Congress legislator Madan Singh Bisht was released yesterday by a TV channel, further stirring the political cauldron with the deposed CM accusing the central government and BJP of indulging in "politics of blackmail".
Bisht allegedly said in the video that Harish Rawat was giving the money he had earned from mining to his MLAs to keep his flock together.
BJP leader Bhagat Singh Koshiyari alleged that the video showed that Harish Rawat was "himself involved in horse-trading".
"Earlier also there was a sting and now also a new sting video has come out in which the MLA is himself saying that the Chief Minister is allegedly giving Rs 25-30 Lakh to his own MLAs to placate them," he claimed at a press conference in New Delhi.
The Congress hit back alleging that BJP was hatching a conspiracy against Harish Rawat ahead of the trust vote. The party also wrote to Governor K K Paul, demanding that BJP leader and Uttarakhand in charge Kailash Vijayvargiya be kept away from the state till the trust vote takes place as he was "trying to vitiate the political atmosphere" in the state.
"I charge the central government and the BJP that they are trying to create this politics of siege in this state. I have decided that after May 10th result, all these blackmailers who are blatantly trying to trap people by offering financial and other allurements, who are trying to blackmail the people, we will launch a fight against them under the leadership of Kishor Upadhyaya," Rawat said.
The Congress leader alleged that his phones and those of his relatives and aides were being tapped. "Central agencies are harassing Congress people through various ways," he alleged.
"Central agencies are openly being misused and not only my MLAs but political leaders are being threatened," he said.
"Our MLAs and leaders are getting threatening messages from conduits who are posing as relatives, well-wishers and acquaintances," Rawat told reporters here. "I am also being kept under surveillance as if I am an anti-national," he alleged.
Rawat had faced allegations of horse-trading earlier after a purported sting video allegedly showed him negotiating to bring back rebel legislators.