It is an all-out war between the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress as the former has now released a sting video that exposes Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat’s alleged nexus with the state’s liquor mafia. In the video, Rawat’s personal secretary Mohammad Shahid is seen allegedly asking for bribes from liquor barons.
The BJP has demanded Harish Rawat’s resignation as Uttarakhand Chief Minister. Sources said that BJP is expected to expose another Congress Chief Minister in a press conference on Wednesday.
Union Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said, “Only transportation would happen through Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam, not distribution. And private agencies chosen by Chief Minister Rawat and Shahid were brought on board and in turn passed liquor to retail agencies. There was an understanding of several hundred crores. The Chief Minister’s personal secretary negotiates with these people saying how much are you giving now and the payment would be made in Delhi or Dehradun – 25% now, 75% later. Mohammad Shahid himself is seen in this sting talking to middlemen about how much would be given to him.”
Rawat has denied all the charges and called it a political stunt of the BJP. Denying investigation in the alleged scam, Rawat said, “First verify the authenticity of the CD. There is no question of any investigation unless there is any clue as no private person is involved in liquor licensing system. There is a well established lottery system for liquor license distributions. There is no private person involved in it”
Terming it a desperate attempt of the BJP, Rawat said, “I do not know from where this allegation has come. BJP is desperate and they can go to any extent. I have not seen the original video.”
Rawat is also likely to file an FIR in this regard.
Backing his party colleague, Congress leader Vijai Bahuguna said, “the authenticity of video should be investigated. The officer in video should be removed. Calling somebody guilty on behalf of one video would not be fair. I’m sure Harish Rawat will take appropriate action.”