U'khand CM asks Harish Rawat to reveal mystery of 'friendship with blackmailer'

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Dehradun, Oct 30 (PTI) Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat on Friday reiterated the state government's commitment to fight corruption and asked AICC general secretary Harish Rawat to reveal the mystery behind his sudden 'friendship' with someone whom he had once called a 'blackmailer and stingbaj'.

His reaction has come after the Supreme Court put a stay on an order of the Uttarakhand High Court quashing an FIR against journalist Umesh Sharma and asking the CBI to probe into corruption charges levelled by him against the chief minister.

'I want to ask Harish Rawat ji when a sting operation was done on him he ( journalist Umesh Sharma) was a blackmailer and a stingbaj for him. How come you are friends with the same man. Unravel the mystery. Don't hide it or people will unravel it themselves,' he told reporters in reply to a question.

Sharma had allegedly carried out a sting operation on Harish Rawat in 2016 in which he was purportedly shown negotiating a deal to buy the support of rebel MLAs to save his government.

The high court's order has prompted Congress leaders in the state, including Harish Rawat, to demand the chief minister's resignation on moral grounds. The chief minister said his resolve to fight corruption remains as strong as ever and will remain so till the end of his five-year tenure.

'All mafia and corrupt elements are trying to attack the government together but our resolve to fight corruption remains intact. We won't budge on our policy on corruption till the end of the five-year tenure,' he said. PTI ALM SNE