CBI questions Harish Rawat for second time

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New Delhi, June 7 (IANS) The CBI on Tuesday questioned Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat for the second time over a “sting” video that purportedly shows him offering bribe to buy legislative support in the state assembly.

Rawat reached the Central Bureau of Investigation headquarters here after 11 a.m. The questioning began a little later and continued for around two-and-half hours, a CBI official told IANS.

“Harish Rawat was quizzed for around two and a half hours at the CBI headquarters. He will be called again for questioning, if necessary,” the official said.

Sources in the agency claimed that after Rawat failed to furnish full and complete details on many issues in the second round of questioning, he is to be called again. However, they declined to elaborate on the specific points on which he did not furnish details.

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Rawat has maintained that he “fully cooperated” with the CBI.

Rawat had been questioned in the same case for around five hours on May 24.

The sting video purportedly shows Rawat offering money to rebel Congress legislators 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.

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