Dehradun: Terming Harish Rawat's victory in the floor test in Uttarkhand Assembly as a mere technicality, BJP on Wednesday said it does not absolve him of graft charges and promised to intensify its struggle against corruption in the state.
Noting that ten Congress MLAs deserting Rawat was no less important than his floor test win, Pradesh BJP president Ajay Bhatt said such a desertion shows he had become an "autocrat and people felt suffocated under him".
Claiming that Rawat was still in a minority in a House of 71 with ten of his MLAs deserting him, Bhatt said the party's fight against corruption brought out by the sting CD in which Rawat had been purportedly shown negotiating a deal to buy the support of rebel MLAs will not stop.
Nine Congress MLAs had sided with BJP demanding division of votes on the appropriation bill on March 18.
Another party MLA Rekha Arya gave her support to BJP in the floor test yesterday taking the number of MLAs revolting against Rawat to ten.
Holding Assembly Speaker Govind Singh Kunjwal responsible for President's rule in the state, Bhatt accused him of misusing his powers as the Speaker to "throttle" constitutional norms in the state assembly on March 18 at the behest of Rawat.
Talking to reporters here soon after Rawat's victory in the floor test was formally announced by the Supreme Court, Bhatt said his floor test win does not absolve him of corruption charges.
"Rawat is the first chief minister to have been caught in a sting operation that shows him negotiating a deal to buy disgruntled MLAs of his own party. Congress legislator Madan Bisht has himself said that 12 MLAs were bribed to vote for Rawat in the floor test," Bhatt said.
He said the party will launch the second phase of its remove corruption, save Uttarakhand (Bharshtachar Hatao Uttarakhand Bachao) campaign to go to people and expose Rawat government's "corruption".