Reacting sharply to BJP’s charge that an amount of over Rs 1509 crore released by the Centre for disaster relief in Uttarakhand was illegally siphoned off, Chief Minister Harish Rawat today said he will resign from politics if the opposition party produces documentary evidence to substantiate the allegation.
“I strongly refute the charge as absolutely unfounded. It is a lie concocted to defame the state government. If the BJP produces documents to prove the charge I will resign from politics,” Rawat said addressing a press conference here.
Asserting that the allegations were part of a conspiracy hatched by the BJP to bring disrepute to the state government, Rawat asked the party leadership to apologise to the people of the state for spreading such lies and damaging its reputation.
Soon after taking over recently as the state BJP President Leader of Opposition in the state Assembly Ajay Bhatt had alleged, citing information obtained under RTI, that Rs 1509.3436 crore allocated by the Centre to the state government for disaster relief had been illegally siphoned off.
He had also written to Governor Krishna Kant Paul demanding a probe by the CBI or the Vigilance Department into the anomaly to bring out the truth.
Visibly irked by the allegation, Rawat said it has nothing to do with facts.
“I don’t know from where this figure of Rs 1509 crore has emerged. I have made my own enquiries and no one is able to explain this to me. It is just another baseless allegation hurled by the opposition to malign us for political reasons,” the Chief Minister said.
He also accused a section of the media of falling victim to the opposition’s conspiracy to bring disrepute to the state government.
In a bid to put the record straight, the Chief Minister gave details of funds sanctioned by the Centre for disaster relief to Uttarakhand.
The Cabinet Committee on Uttarakhand constituted in the wake of June 2013 natural calamity at the the time of UPA had recommended an amount of Rs 7980 crore to be allocated to the state over a period of three years for disaster relief out of which Rs 2367.74 crore have been received so far he said, adding, about 80 per cent of it has been spent on relief so far.