BJP rejects horse trading charges against Uttarakhand chief minister
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BJP rejects horse trading charges against Uttarakhand chief minister

The Uttarakhand unit of BJP on Sunday termed as “baseless” Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (Prajatantrik) president Babulal Marandi’s allegations that chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat had engineered defection of its six MLAs in 2015 to help the BJP form government in Jharkhand

dehradun Updated: Jul 08, 2018 22:03 IST
Deep Joshi
Deep Joshi
Hindustan Times, Dehradun
The issue dates back to the time when chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat was in-charge of BJP’s Jharkhand unit.(PTI File)

The Uttarakhand unit of BJP on Sunday termed as “baseless” Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (Prajatantrik) president Babulal Marandi’s allegations that chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat had engineered defection of its six MLAs in 2015 to help the BJP form government in Jharkhand.

“Charges levelled against the chief minister are baseless. We, therefore, condemn and refute those baseless charges,” said BJP state unit spokesperson Munna Singh Chauhan.

The issue dates back to the time when Rawat was the in-charge of BJP’s Jharkhand unit.

JVM-P chief Marandi, in a memorandum to Jharkhand governor Droupadi Murmu on Saturday, also said six JVM-P legislators were bribed ₹11 crore at Rawat’s instructions.

Speaking to reporters, Marandi circulated a letter to buttress his claim that the bribe money was handed over to six JVP-P MLAs through some middlemen.

The Uttarakhand chief minister’s office also dubbed the allegations as baseless. “All allegations levelled by Marandi against him (Rawat) are absolutely baseless… He (Marandi) is reminded of the incident (bribery) which he says took place some four years ago,” a CM’s aide said. “Why had he been keeping silent on the issue all these years?”

The BJP spokesperson said former Jharkhand chief minister Marandi’s allegations against Rawat were a “desperate attempt to hog the limelight at a time when the JVM-P chief and his outfit have been completely marginalised” in Jharkhand politics.

“Such allegations are being cooked up to malign our party as it rules the country’s 80% geographical area,” Chauhan said, adding: “We can’t be blamed if other parties can’t keep their flock together.”

Chauhan said the BJP won’t take such unfounded allegations lying down. “Our Jharkhand unit has already announced that it would file a defamation suit against Marandi, if he doesn’t offer an unconditional apology,” he told Hindustan Times.

Quick to cash on the issue, the Congress alleged that Jharknand was no exception. “It (BJP) also caused defections in our legislature party when we were in power in 2016 and had the president’s rule imposed in the state subsequently,” Congress leader Surendra Kumar alleged.

“Thanks to the apex court and high court judgments, we were able to form our governments all over again.”

Had the courts not stepped in, he claimed, the BJP would have applied similar tactics to governments in Himachal Pradesh, Delhi and other states.

“In fact, subsequently that party (BJP) did engineer defections in political parties both in Goa and Arunachal Pradesh,” Kumar said.

First Published: Jul 08, 2018 22:03 IST