By Arun Pratap Singh
Dehradun, 28 Aug: the Uttarakhand Congress seems to be highly nervous as well as confused about the progress of a CBI case related to the party’s National General Secretary and former CM, Harish Rawat. Officially, all the big leaders of the party claim that the CBI case against Harish Rawat is a result of political vendetta by the BJP Government. However, unofficially, they admit that the case can really land not only the former CM but several other Congress leaders in trouble.
It may be recalled that the CBI has filed its preliminary investigation report in the case before the Uttarakhand High Court. The next hearing in this case is scheduled to be held on 20 September. The CBI has sought the court’s permission to carry out further investigation.
Legal experts claim it is unlikely the CBI will be denied permission to investigate further in the case against Harish Rawat. In that condition, some Congress MLAs and former MLAs considered close to Harish Rawat may also land in trouble since their names were mentioned in the sting that had become viral when Rawat was the CM.
Some Congress leaders, speaking to this correspondent, claimed that nervousness prevailed among those in Harish Rawat’s camp following the recent submission of the CBI report in the Uttarakhand High Court. It may also be recalled that the CBI has alleged that Harish Rawat was involved in attempts to purchase support of the Congress MLAs who had rebelled against him in the year 2016. The CBI further claims that Harish Rawat was seen trying to negotiate a deal for such support.
On the other hand, Harish Rawat has claimed that some forces wanted to finish him and his reputation but he would not allow this to happen!
Meanwhile, former Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) Chief and one time close confidante of Rawat, Kishore Upadhyay has claimed that around 65 Congress leaders in Uttarakhand were on the radar of the BJP Government and that about 20 Congress leaders had only recently taken bail in various cases filed against them. He also claimed that those Congress leaders who did not switch over to BJP were being targeted by the BJP.
Incidentally, Umesh Sharma, who conducted the sting operation against Harish Rawat, is the one who has since targeted the current BJP Government, and claims to have also conducted sting operations against some powerful persons allegedly close to the current CM. Sharma was arrested on charges of attempted blackmail by the current government and is currently out on bail.
In case the CBI does get permission to investigate the case further, it is expected to issue summons to Harish Rawat as well as some other Congress leaders in the sting case.