Former Uttarakhand Chief Minister and MP Tirath Singh Rawat said in a purported video, which went viral on social media platforms, that “commission khori” (corruption) is the biggest problem of the hill State, causing a major embarrassment to the BJP government.
During an interview to a national media channel, Mr. Rawat could be heard saying, “I shouldn’t be saying this as I was the CM of the State but I have no hesitation in admitting that when we were separated from Uttar Pradesh, one had to give up to 20% commission to get any public work done. Be it in jal nigam department or road department, the commission is 2%, 3%… 20%… We are still in the same bracket…”
Mr. Rawat further said that after the separation from Uttar Pradesh in 2000, the issue of ‘corruption’ should have come to zero, ‘but the practice of commissionkhori continued and we began with 20% here in Uttarakhand. Its irony.”
The former CM also said that he will not blame any one person for the ‘corruption’ in the State as it is a ‘mentality’ which will not change unless one will not start considering the State as his/her own family. Both officials and politicians have to think about it, said Rawat.
“We are punishing the officials involved in corruption but we are not thinking that who was behind that official. So both politicians and officials are equally responsible,” he further said.
While the Congress is attacking the government on Rawat’s statement, BJP’s media in charge Manvir Singh Chauhan said that Mr. Rawat has his own point of view, but the Pushkar Singh Dhami government has zero tolerance for corruption.
Garima Dasauni, spokesperson in Uttarakhand Congress, said that the Opposition is totally supporting what Mr. Tirath Rawat has said but questioned if he had the spine to share the status of corruption with his party high-command in Delhi.
“Mr. Tirath Rawat is a senior leader of the party and he must have said this in some context. Transparency in work and no-corruption is prime agenda of the BJP and Chief Minister Dhami is tough at both fronts,” said Mr. Chauhan.