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Uttarakhand crisis: Harish Rawat accepts his ‘presence’ in sting CD

Deposed Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat, who had so far been insisting the sting CD of him was "fake", on Sunday virtually accepted his presence in the video.

Written by Devyani Onial | Dehradun |
Updated: May 2, 2016 3:09:25 am
harish rawat, uttarakhand, uttarakhand sting video, harish rawat horse trading sting, uttarakhand news, uttarakhand crisis, india news, latest news Claiming innocence, Rawat said if the CD contained evidence of him having made an offer in cash or kind in exchange for the support of disgruntled MLAs he was ready to be hanged in public. (Express Photo by Virender Singh Negi)

FORMER Uttarakhand chief minister Harish Rawat Sunday said he never denied meeting the journalist who is purportedly shown in a sting operation negotiating a deal with him to buy the support of Congress rebel MLAs.

“I have never denied meeting the said journalist. It was a chance meeting. He is the owner of a news channel and I have met him a number of times. On that particular day too he came up to me at the airport. It was he who was making all the noises, not me. I do not deny talking to my former minister too who had not even been disqualified by then. Talking to someone is not the same as purchasing someone,” Rawat said.

The remark came two days after the CBI registered a preliminary enquiry into the sting operation, which was released by the rebel Congress MLAs on March 26.

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Rawat told The Indian Express: “That man was saying things like I can get you three MLAs and was mentioning numbers, 15, 15, 15 and I was just trying to get rid of him and so said, ‘OK, we will see’. I am not the one initiating this conversation. I am not the one offering anything… If anything, if he is making the offer and if it is money that he is talking about, then his source of money should be probed… The onus is on him, not on me. I was not the buyer.”

On whether he had earlier said the tapes were doctored, Rawat said, “Doctored is a legal word because the matter is in court. The person who has made that tape has met me a number of times, what all they have used from what conversation, whether it is doctored, I am not in a position to say. I don’t know what all they had but I have said all along and I am saying it again, what was shown on March 26, woh ek fareb tha jo national media ko parosa gaya (this was a conspiracy that was served to the national media) in connivance with the BJP.”

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