New Delhi: The CBI on Tuesday questioned Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat for about five hours in an alleged political horse-trading case, in the wake of a “sting” video showing him offering bribes to buy legislative support in the assembly. He is likely to be called again.
Rawat reached the Central Bureau of Investigation office here around 11.15 a.m. and was questioned around five hours, an official told IANS.
“Rawat could not furnish full and complete detail on many issues. He will be called again for questioning,” the official said.
The “sting operation” video showed Rawat offering money to rebel Congress lawmakers to win their support ahead of a March 28 floor test in the 70-member Uttarakhand house. The floor test never happened as the state came under President’s Rule a day earlier.
The video was shot by a Noida-based private TV channel, Samachar Plus, and was released on March 26 by nine Congress legislators who had rebelled against Rawat’s government.
Based on a reference from the state government, then under President’s Rule, and further orders from the central government, the CBI on April 25 initiated a preliminary inquiry to determine the authenticity of the “sting operation” by Samachar Plus CEO and editor-in-chief Umesh Kumar.
The CBI issued a fresh summons to Rawat for Tuesday after he had sought more time to its earlier summons issued on May 5 to appear before it on May 9. He was reinstated as chief minister on May 11 after winning the vote of confidence in the assembly.