CBI to quiz Rawat on alleged Sting alluding horse trading

SansadTV Bureau
FILE: Dehradun:  Uttarakhand chief minister Harish Rawat during the Cabinet Meeting in Dehradun.  Photo - PTI

FILE: Dehradun: File photo of former Uttarakhand chief minister Harish Rawat during the Cabinet Meeting in Dehradun.
Photo – PTI

Former Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat was on Thursday summoned by the Central Bureau of Investigation for questioning in connection with a preliminary enquiry (PE) into the controversial sting CD in which he was purportedly seen talking to middlemen in a bid to strike a deal with dissident Congress MLAs.

The inquiry was registered on the recommendation of the state government and the notification was issued by the Centre. Rawat has been called by the CBI to join the probe on Monday.

The state is under President’s rule since March 27 and both Centre and Harish Rawat are locked in a legal battle in the Supreme Court.

Two days before Rawat was to face vote of confidence on March 28, nine rebel Congress MLAs, led by former chief minister Vijay Bahuguna, had alleged that they were offered bribe by Rawat for support during the floor test in the Uttarakhand Assembly. The rebel faction had then released a video of an alleged sting operation.

The sting CD made by the editor-in-chief of a private news channel and circulated by the nine Congress rebels was cited by the Centre in its defense to reason the imposition of President’t rule in the state. The Centre contends that alleged horse-trading as shown in the sting operation amounts to no less than a break-down of law and order in the state.

The sting was, however, termed irrelevant by the division bench of Uttarakhand High Court, which had quashed the President’s rule in the state.

On the other hand, Harish Rawat has been insisting that the sting was fake and has since dismissed that the conversation shown in the video is “meaningless”.

Claiming innocence, the beleaguered former CM of Uttarakhand had said was ready “to be hanged” in public, if the contents of alleged sting operation is right.

(With inputs from the PTI)