DEHRADUN -- Ahead of the 10 May trust vote in Uttarakhand, a new purported sting video targeting deposed Chief Minister Harish Rawat emerged today, prompting BJP to accuse him of trying to "buy" legislators.
As the political fight over the Uttarakhand crisis escalated, Rawat accused the NDA government and the BJP of indulging in "politics of blackmail" and creating "unrest" in the hill state. He also alleged that the Congress MLAs were being threatened and their phones tapped by central agencies.
A purported sting video targeting Rawat which allegedly showed a conversation between rebel Congress MLA Harak Singh Rawat and Congress legislator Madan Singh Bisht was released today by a private news channel in Delhi.
Bisht is purported to have said in the video that Harish Rawat was giving the money he had earned from mining to his MLAs to keep his flock together.
BJP leader Bhagat Singh Koshyari alleged that the video showed that Harish Rawat was "himself involved in horse-trading".
"Earlier also there was a sting and now also a new sting video has come out in which the MLA is himself saying that the Chief Minister is giving Rs 25-30 Lakh to his own MLAs to placate them," he claimed at a press conference in New Delhi.
The Congress hit back alleging that BJP was hatching a conspiracy against Harish Rawat ahead of the trust vote. The party also wrote to Governor K K Paul, demanding that BJP leader and Uttarkhand incharge Kailash Vijayvargiya be kept away from the state till the trust vote takes place as he was "trying to vitiate the political atmosphere" in the state.
"I charge the central government and the BJP that they are trying to create this politics of siege and unrest in this state. I have decided that after 10 May result, all these blackmailers who are blatantly trying to trap people by offering financial and other allurements, who are trying to blackmail the people, we will launch a fight against them under the leadership of Kishor Upadhyaya," Rawat said.
The Congress leader alleged that his phones and those of his relatives and aides were being tapped. "Central agencies are harassing Congress people through various ways," he alleged.
"Central agencies are openly being misused and not only my MLAs but political leaders are being threatened," he said.
"Our MLAs and leaders are getting threatening messages from conduits who are posing as relatives, well-wishers and acquaintances," Rawat told reporters in Dehradun.
"I am also being kept under surveillance as if I am an anti-national," he alleged.
Rawat had faced allegations of horse-trading earlier after a purported sting video allegedly showed him negotiating to bring back rebel legislators.
The Supreme Court had on Friday ordered a floor test in Uttarakhand Assembly on 10 May when Harish Rawat will seek a vote of confidence.