Centre should not try oblique methods to topple Rawat: Congress

New Delhi : With the CBI asking Harish Rawat to appear before it on May 24 over a probe into an alleged “sting” video, the Congress Party on Sunday said the BJP-led NDA Government should not try oblique and indirect methods to topple a sitting chief minister after having failed to do so during President’s rule in Uttarakhand.

Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi said Rawat has been always ready and willing to participate in the legal valid proceedings, adding he has nothing to worry about.

“However, the Central Government should not try oblique and indirect methods to topple after having failed to do so in President’s rule. There is a very important legal issue also as to whether once a state government has already instituted a SIT at the state level and has not given consent for CBI to proceed further. Whether the CBI can do so in our federal structure and under provisions of the CBI Special Establishment Act,” Singhvi told ANI.

“However, all that will be sorted out in legal terms. The basic point is that there is no need for the Central Government with or without, through or otherwise of the CBI to threaten, intimidate the sitting chief minister of the state which they have unsuccessfully tried to topple by unconstitutional means,” he added.

Earlier on May 20, the Congress government in Uttarakhand decided to constitute a judicial committee to look into various issues, including incidents unfolding after March 17-18 such as horse trading, misuse of agencies and sting operation among others.

Justifying the Cabinet’s decision, Rawat then said that it was in the wider interest of the state that this matter is handed over to a judicial commission.

The video shows Rawat indulging in horse trading a day before President’s rule was imposed in Uttarakhand on March 27.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had alleged that the sting was proof of unfair means used by the Rawat regime to stay in power.

Rawat has maintained his innocence in the matter and termed the entire episode as a “conspiracy” to tarnish his image. (ANI)