Dehradun: Faced with the hurdle of a fresh sting video just days ahead of the crucial floor test in Uttarakhand, ousted chief minister Harish Rawat on Sunday alleged that he was being watched and monitored closely, adding that attempts were being made to curb his freedom and privacy.
Addressing a press conference here, Rawat asserted that there was a gang operational in full force against the Congress in the state and said that many influential people, including rebel Congress leader Bhupesh Upadhyay, were part of the group.
He added that the entire operation was under the leadership of rebel Congress leader Vijay Bahuguna.
"Our leaders are being targeted and threatening messages are being sent. I'm being watched just like some anti-national personal is observed and attempts are being made to curb my personal freedom. The phone lines of not only mine, but those who are close to me are being tapped," Rawat said.
Sharpening his attack on the Centre, he added that the murder of democracy and open horse-trading was happening in Uttarakhand under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi using the sheer power of money and blackmail.
"I appeal to the enlightened citizens of Uttarakhand that they do not fall prey to such gimmicks and raise their voices against this. The BJP and the Centre are trying to create a divisive government here. I want to tell the BJP to stop playing divisive politics and reign in their agents of hatred and violence," Rawat added.
He further said that he would wage a war against blackmailers after the floor test in the state Assembly on Tuesday to save democracy and eradicate horse-trading once and for all from the state.
"I have decided that after the floor test we will take action against black mailers; the people who are trapping simple and honest people here and trying to take advantage of them. Under Kishore Upadhyay's leadership, we will wage a war to save democracy and against the rampant horse-trading. I'm sure that we will garner maximum support," Rawat said.
With the Uttarakhand Assembly set to witness a crucial floor test on May 10, a new crisis has risen for Rawat in the form of a fresh sting video, which allegedly shows Congress MLA Madan Singh admitting to horse-trading.
"Your brother has this much guts to get money out of him (Harish Rawat). I have got them (Congress MLAs) the money and this conversation is between us. I have got the MLAs 25 lakh each. This was given just for the sake of kharcha paani (personal expenditure)," Bisht is seen saying in the video.
"The MLAs haven't demanded the money. I haven't taken a penny, you can ask Harish Rawat. I told him I won't take money, give it to poor MLAs. 12 MLAs were paid. I told Harish Rawat to give the money to the MLAs," he added.
Samachar Plus editor-in-chief Umesh Kumar, who released the sting, said the new video is in continuation with the old sting that shows which legislator has received how much amount of money.
"They themselves are Harish Rawat supporters and they had Cabinet ranks. This sting proves that Horse trading is continuing in Uttarakhand and will counter Former Chief Minister Harish Rawat's claims that there is no horse trading going on in Uttarakhand," he added.
Meanwhile, BJP general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya, who is camping in the Uttarakhand, told ANI that former chief minister Rawat can go to any extent to save his chair.
"Harish Rawat can go to any extent to save his chair, he is buying his own MLAs," he said.