New Delhi | Buoyed by his victory in the floor test, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat ruled out possibility of snap polls saying his state cannot afford that, even as he asserted he would work with the Centre to initiate development while forgetting the past. He also attacked CBI for working with a particular frame of mind of treating me like an accused and said the agency’s credentials and impartiality are at stake in the case.
He, however, said he would cooperate with the agency. Rawat, who is in the capital since yesterday, met top Congress leaders including Ahmed Patel, political secretary to Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, and Ambika Soni, party general secretary and in-charge of party in Uttarakhand. He met Gandhi yesterday along with some of his Cabinet colleagues. I do not want to go in for fresh polls. Uttarakhand can’t afford that.
In politics, it may be advisable to go for elections because right now there is a lot of sympathy. But sympathy is one thing, duty is another. The call of the duty is that I should focus on development to bring the state back on track. I will see the state’s interests first, he told reporters. There is an enormous challenge now to build the state from here. I can’t afford to antagonise anyone. We need the Centre’s support. I will again urge the Centre that let us forget on what has happened, he said.
Rawat said he was keen to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and strengthen federalism, while seeking his support and cooperation for Uttarakhand’s development to send across the message that the prime minister also cares for the hill state. I wish to meet the Prime Minister around May 15/16. I am myself in a hurry. I am very keen.
There are many pending issues. But right now we want that the message should go that Prime Minister cares about Uttarakhand also, he said, seeking his cooperation in taking the state on path of development. Questioning the CBI which is investigating a sting on him in winning support of MLAs before the trust vote, he said he will cooperate with the investigating agency and his party has also asked him to do so.
CBI is a premier investigating agency constituted to deal with serious cases of corruption of national importance. I have respect for CBI and I will cooperate with it on the sting probe. There is an advice from my party that I should cooperate with CBI. But CBI cannot work with that frame of mind of treating a law-abiding citizen as an accused. The credentials and impartiality of CBI are at stake, he said.
On his ties with the Centre after it dismissed his government, Rawat said, We are a part of Union of India in federal structure for strengthening federalism. To strengthen Indian democracy, Uttarakhand also wants to play its role. Allow us to play our own role, he said.