Deposed chief minister Harish Rawat said the Centre “is hell bent” on dethroning non-BJP governments with money and muscle power and alleged that President’s rule was imposed in Uttarakhand as the BJP feared it will not be able to return to power in the 2017 assembly elections. In a chat with HT, Rawat said former chief minister Vijay Bahuguna has no chance to return to the Congress fold.
The President’s rule is in place and the issue of government formation is sub-judice. How hopeful are you of regaining power?
BJP leaders hatched the plan to bring down my government … as they feared the Congress can make a come back in the 2017 assembly elections… but they did not succeed … as we guarded our castle well till they came up with a sting CD out of the blue, which lacks in credibility... This shows the extent of power and arrogance of the PM and his party against non-BJP regimes in the country. President’s rule under false pretexts is a dangerous precedent set by the Modi government.
The BJP claims the CD, where you are seen settling a deal with a journalist, was genuine?
The forensic probe of the CD was completed within 24 hours of its release and became a reason for imposing President’s rule in the state…Everyone can see how the gentleman in the front of me tried to put his words into my mouth… But they never released the complete CD and conversations in it.
What do you have to say about the rebels’ allegations that your style of functioning was a one-man-show?
If this is true, you can see the records of the number of developmental work done and proposed in the constituencies of the nine rebels, by my government. Instead of my style of functioning, the BJP’s bottomless purse (lured them) on the day of voting on the Appropriation Bill. It was not about the party’s internal matter as the BJP claims, but it was the rebels’ greed tapped by the BJP…
Do you think after rebellion, the Congress will face leadership crisis in Uttarakhand as some of the rebels are well-known names?
The rebels were known only when they were with the Congress…The Congress party doesn’t need personalities, but workers...We are fully prepared to go to the polls even today and are confident of making a comeback...
It has been claimed by a section in the Congress that the central leadership of the party was not happy with you over the rebellion. How do you take it?
The central leadership knows how I was running the government and was keeping track of events in the state. I am in constant touch with them and appraising of the situations here. There is no reason to believe that the central leadership has lost confidence in the state leadership.
Is there any chance of reconciliation with rebels now?
The rebels themselves claimed that they have gone too far and will be difficult for them to return. I don’t think there is any hope for their returns to the party fold… It’s their own making despite the fact that the party gave everything to my predecessor Bahuguna.