Cong seeks Uttarakhand CM’s resignation after HC orders CBI probe on bribery allegations
The Opposition Congress has demanded the resignation of Uttarakhand chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat on moral grounds for fair investigation in a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation ordered by the high court on allegations of bribery.
The Uttarakhand high court on Tuesday directed the CBI to register a case and investigate allegations against the chief minister. The HC in its 83-page order, while hearing writ petitions filed by Umesh Kumar and Shiv Prasad Semwal, said “...In view of the nature of the allegations, this Court is of the view that the CBI should be directed to lodge an FIR on the basis of allegations levelled...and investigate the case.”
Umesh Kumar, a journalist, had alleged in a social media post that a man from Jharkhand deposited money after demonetisation into the bank account of a couple related to the chief minister for the latter’s benefit. The judge directed that a CBI inquiry be conducted into the matter and said all documents related to the case be submitted to the court. The government had filed an FIR against Umesh Kumar for his social media post . On Tuesday the HC quashed the FIR.
It has been alleged that one A S Chauhan based in Jharkhand had claimed that he knew TS Rawat who was the state in-charge of BJP of Jharkhand. In 2016, Chauhan allegedly struck a deal worth ₹25 lakh with Rawat for his appointment as chairman Jharkhand Gau Sewa Aayog. Rawat became the CM in 2017.
Senior Congress leader and former chief minister Harish Rawat said the HC has taken the matter very seriously and instead of police, it has asked CBI to file FIR and investigate the allegations against CM.
“Against this scenario, the chief minister has no option but to resign, one on moral grounds and second that he is heading the state and his continuation as CM can influence the investigation”, he said
Rawat said the chief minister and the BJP government had been harping on the zero-tolerance towards corruption. “Now we want to see how they will deal with such serious allegations,” he said
Pritam Singh, state Congress president said chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat has always been talking about zero tolerance to corruption in his government. “Now the HC has directed CBI to file an FIR and investigate the allegation against the CM, he should resign on moral grounds. Also, he should resign so that there is fair investigation into this matter”, he said.
Singh said they would be meeting Governor Baby Rani Maurya to talk about this serious issue. “Governor being the custodian of the constitution in the state, we will urge her to look into this issue and take a stand”.
The BJP appeared unfazed by the Congress’ attacks. Devendra Bhasin, state BJP spokesperson said they honour the directions of the high court in the matter. “Let this matter be investigated properly so that people come to know about the truth,” he said.