Published On: Fri, Jan 8th, 2016

‘will quit politics, if charges of misuse of disaster funds are found true’- Harish Rawat

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Upset over the allegations of misuse of funds to the tune of Rs 1,509 crore from funds released for the post-2013 deluge relief work by the UPA-II government as alleged by the Opposition some time ago, chief minister Harish Rawat on Friday lashed out at his detractors and said he would quit politics if the BJP state leadership could prove any of the charges. “I am willing to leave political life if they can corroborate any of the claims they have made,” Rawat said at a specially convened media briefing at his residence. “An allegation is an allegation whether it is against the previous Congress government or the present one as it contributes to bring down our image”, the chief minister added.

An RTI activist had claimed last year that there was a mismatch in the funds claimed to have been provided by the Central government for the relief work to the state and that which the state admitted to having received. The shortfall, the activist claimed, was to the tune of Rs 1,509 crore. He added that both the state and central governments should provide information about the “missing” funds, the record of which was not available with the state. Acting on this information, newly elected state BJP president Ajay Bhatt had a few days back written a letter to the governor KK Paul asking for a CBI probe into what he referred to as the “relief fund scam”.

Seeking to set the record straight, Rawat on Friday claimed that the state government had received an amount of Rs 2,367 crore so far out of a total of Rs 7,800 crore sanctioned by the UPA-II government for restoration and relief work. He said that the amount of Rs 7,800 crore was sanctioned for three years from 2013 to 2016.

“As we have received only Rs 2,367 crore out of the total amount sanctioned, the question of any missing funds does not arise,” the chief minister said.

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