Uttarakhand CM's private secretary suspended after BJP releases 'liquor scam' sting video: Reports
Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat's secretary Mohammad Shahid has been suspended, as per media reports on Wednesday.
Dehradun: Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat's secretary Mohammad Shahid has been suspended, as per some media reports on Wednesday.
The suspension follows the sting video released by the by BJP purportedly showing Shahid involved in a liquor scam.
Reports also said that an FIR has been registered against the bureaucrat in this regard.
However, there has been no official confirmation of the same.
Seeking to turn the tables on Congress over corruption, BJP today accused Rawat of "making money" by tweaking liquor policy to benefit private distributors and demanded his sacking.
Addressing a press conference, BJP leader and Union Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said, “Uttarakhand CM and his PS were involved in liquor scam and loot during floods.”
“We have a video proof which shows involvement of Uttarakhand CM's and his powerful close confidante in the scam,” she added, as per ANI.
"Instead of focusing on providing relief to Uttarakhand for which he was sent replacing Vijay Bahuguna, Rawat is focusing on making money by tweaking the liquor policy. We demand that the Congress party remove him instantly. He must resign," she told reporters.
The BJP released a CD of the sting operation in which Rawat's personal secretary is purportedly bargaining with middlemen and private liquor distributors about the commission to be given to him for allowing them instead of government undertakings to distribute liquor in Dehradun, as per PTI.
The CD does not feature Rawat, but a person whom the Minister claimed was Shahid talking to alleged dealers.
Sitharaman said Shahid has long been the "handpicked" associate of Rawat and had served the Congress leader in the central government earlier too.
Shahid is also the Excise Secretary in the state.
However, Rawat rejected the allegations as "baseless" and far from truth and said he has ordered a forensic examination of the video tape of a sting operation that formed the basis for BJP's charges.
“Details of timing, location of the recording is not authenticated. BJP should have also revealed about where and when it was recorded,” he said.
Making a point Uttarakhand CM said, “Whatever I have seen, there is no clarity. It is necessary that a forensic investigation of CD be done."
"BJP is trying to divert public attention from the charges of corruption against their ministers by setting up these baseless and false allegations. There were no changes in FL2 (foreign liquor) policy because it is in the hands of public sector undertakings (PSU). Since they are not in private hands why would we talk to private parties?" Rawat asked.
(With Agency inputs)