Rawat says stung but not defeated, alleges MLAs’ phones being tapped

  • Prithviraj Singh, Hindustan Times
  • Updated: May 09, 2016 09:31 IST
In this file photo, former CM Harish Rawat can be seen addressing a press conference in Dehradun. (PTI Photo)

Stung again but not yet defeated, deposed chief minister Harish Rawat hit back at the BJP-led central government on Sunday accusing it of harassing Congress legislators and using bureaucrats to exploit the situation.

Rawat vowed to fight this politics-bureaucracy nexus in the state after the floor test on May 10.

Rawat said on Sunday that Congress leaders were being threatened and their phones were getting tapped ahead of the trust vote in the state assembly.

“Our MLAs and leaders are getting threatening messages from conduits who are posing as relatives, well-wishers and acquaintances,” Rawat told reporters in Dehradun.

“I am also being kept under surveillance as if I am an anti-national,” Rawat said.

Addressing the media in Dehradun, Rawat and state Congress president Kishor Upadhyay said the BJP and the central government “have let loose one of its notorious party leaders” from Madhya Pradesh to create instability in the state.

“Kailash Vijayvargiya is heading an anti-Uttarakhand syndicate involving a former small-time Congress worker, Bhupesh Upadhya, who is now a trusted man in the BJP, and others along with two bureaucrats who are working as fodder provider to them,” said Rawat, adding that they have written to Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Uttarakhand governor KK Paul to force Kailash Vijayvargiya to leave Uttarakhand.

He said the request was made because Vijayvargiya was “vitiating the political atmosphere of the state in his pursuance to stop the Congress party from taking trust vote as per the Supreme Court order”.

Rawat also alleged that a motivated attempt was on to brand him a criminal and an anti-national with the help of “two senior bureaucrats in the state”, and warned that he would launch a campaign against this nexus after the trust vote.

In the letter, the state Congress president referred to pending corruption cases against Vijayvargiya in the MP Lokayukta and a video of the BJP national general secretary distributing liquor and money to influence voters in Mahu state assembly segment, which is being looked into by the high court of the state, to substantiate his party’s claim.

“The BJP leadership has deliberately planted its notorious leader to create political instability in the state by offering bribes to Congress MLAs and recording personal conversations out of frustration as they have failed to engineer a second defection despite all their efforts,” said Upadhyay.

On the other hand, BJP state spokesperson Munna Singh Chauhan termed the new sting video of Congress MLA Madan Singh as vindication of his party’s stand that Harish Rawat tried to engage in horsetrading when his government was in trouble.

“It’s not the BJP saying that 12 Congress MLAs were given Rs 25 lakh each by Rawat to keep his flock in good humour, but a Congress MLA is exposing his own party leader in the sting CD released by a local news channel,” said Chauhan, urging the CBI to take this into account in its investigation into alleged horsetrading by Rawat.

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