Dehradun: Deposed Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat, who had so far been insisting that the sting CD of him was “fake”, on Sunday, accepted his presence in the video.
He, however, said meeting a journalist was not a crime.
“Is meeting a journalist a crime? If one of the MLAs, who had not been technically disqualified by that time talked to me… how does it matter? Do we block any channels in politics?” Rawat told reporters here on the sidelines of a programme.
Claiming innocence, Rawat said if the CD contained evidence of him having made an offer in cash or kind in exchange for the support of disgruntled MLAs, he was ready to be hanged in public. “If any evidence is found against me, like me offering money or post to anybody, hang me at Clock tower,” he said. Clock tower is a busy chowk in the heart of the town.
However, from what the deposed chief minister said, it was clear that a meeting did take place between him and the journalist who made the sting CD.
It is significant as Rawat had so far been challenging the veracity of the CD, calling it “fake”.
“Why should anyone spend Rs 15 crore for me. The man (journalist) was saying something meaningless to while away my time and I said something to while away his. How does it matter? We keep saying things like this on a daily basis. Does that mean they should be used against us?” Rawat said.
The sting CD made by the editor-in-chief of a private news channel and circulated by the nine Congress rebels, who created a political crisis in the state by siding with opposition BJP in the state Assembly, purportedly shows Rawat negotiating a money deal with the journalist to buy the support of MLAs who had revolted against him.