BJP seeks unqualified apology from Cong MLAs over bribery charge
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Wednesday hit back at the two Congress legislators in the hill state, who had alleged that the saffron party had offered a bribe of up to Rs 50 crore to them to switch their loyalty, and asked them to produce evidence to substantiate the charge or offer an unqualified apology.
Alleging that a sudden eviction from power had caused most Congress leaders to lose their mental balance, Uttarakhand Pradesh BJP president Ajay Bhatt said they were levelling “wild allegations” like this against the party to divert public attention from real issues.
“Their own former Chief Minister was caught live on camera negotiating a money deal to buy back disgruntled party MLAs. An earlier sting CD had shown a top CMO official negotiating a bribery deal with a liquor baron. It is in a bid to divert attention from these that they (Congress MLAs) are making unfounded allegations against the BJP,” he said.
He added: “It seems a sudden ouster from power has knocked them out of their senses and they are making meaningless noises to confuse people.”
The state BJP chief further said: “Even Harish Rawat had accused the BJP of depositing Rs 25 crore into the accounts of nine rebel lawmakers, which prompted Vijay Bahuguna to slap a court case against him.”
Alleging that buying and selling has been Congress’ culture not that of the BJP, Bhatt said the stand is vindicated by an Italian court’s latest order, which has “indicted” top Congress leaders such as Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh in the AgustaWestland helicopter deal.
Chief BJP spokesman Munna Singh Chauhan also reacted sharply to the allegations levelled by the two Congress MLAs, saying that they should either come up with a proof to substantiate their charge or offer an unqualified apology for making a “baseless allegation” against the party.
“They are just hurling a wild allegation. They should produce evidence to prove the charge or offer an unqualified apology immediately,” Chauhan said.
Congress legislator from Badrinath Rajendra Bhandari and its MLA from Tharali Jeet Ram had on Tuesday alleged that they had been offered a bribe of up to Rs 50 crore, an Assembly ticket to a family member and a Rajya Sabha seat by the BJP in exchange of their support.
We have faith in judiciary, asserts Rawat
With the Supreme Court maintaining a status quo on President’s rule in Uttarakhand, deposed Chief Minister Harish Rawat on Wednesday said he had full faith in the judiciary and would accept the Apex Court’s decision. “I have total faith in the judiciary. We will embrace whatever the Apex Court finally rules in case of Uttarakhand,” he said. Echoing Rawat, senior party leader and former minister Indira Hridayesh also said her party respects the courts of law. “We respect the judgement of courts. We believe in guarding the Constitution,” she said.
Similar reactions came from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) too with the party’s state president Ajay Bhatt saying, “We have faith in the Supreme Court and whatever final verdict it gives will be acceptable to us.”