DEHRADUN: Deposed Chief Minister Harish Rawat today asked Uttarakhand Governor K K Paul to take cognisance of a sting operation video against him, claiming it carries enough evidence to prove there was a "criminal conspiracy" by BJP and Congress "backstabbers" to topple an elected government.
Rawat said he has been ready for any probe from day one as he knows he is innocent but the "so-called sting CD should be investigated in entirety and not in bits and pieces." The CBI has initiated its preliminary investigations into the sting operation in which Rawat was purportedly seen talking to middlemen in a bid to strike a deal with rebel Congress MLAs.
The agency questioned the journalist allegedly involved in the sting operation at its headquarters in New Delhi yesterday as part of its preliminary enquiry. Alleging that the reputation of the journalist who made the CD has always been under suspicion, Rawat said a close analysis of the content of the CD in totality puts it beyond doubt that there was a "criminal conspiracy jointly hatched by BJP and Congress backstabbers" to topple an elected government in Uttarakhand.
Reading out transcripts of the CD as it appeared on social media at a press conference here, Rawat said names of Vijay Bahuguna, Saket Bahuguna and Kailash Vijayvargiya had been mentioned in the CD as people involved in the plot to throw him out of power.
Questioning the antecedents of the journalist who had made the CD, Rawat alleged dozens of cases had been lodged against him during the tenure of a former BJP chief minister on the basis of which a red corner notice had also been issued against him.
"Why doesn't the BJP show the courage of instituting a probe against the man who made the CD. His reputation has always been under a cloud of suspicion," he said. Claiming that he was innocent, he said the CD was made to "malign him - a fact corroborated by its timing exactly six months before the state was to go to polls."
However, he said he was ready for any probe and will cooperate with any impartial inquiry into the sting CD.