Congress leader and former Uttarakhand chief minister Harish Rawat said on Tuesday that the party should expel him if allegations that he had sold tickets ahead of the recently held assembly elections and offered posts government for cash turned out to be true. Rawat, who led the Congress campaign in the election – which the party lost heavily – also said an “evil like him” should be “burned by Congress on Holi Day”. Rawat, however, did not name the person who brought the charges against him.
“The allegation of selling party poles and party tickets is very serious. seriously,” he added. Rawat said in a Twitter post that highlighted another growing divide within the party.
“I pray to God = Congress expel me in light of these allegations against me. Holi is a true celebration of invoking evils, and ‘evil Harish Rawat’ should also be burnt by Congress in this Holika (sic )”, he added. .
The 73-year-old former chief minister says a ‘person in a high position’ accused him of selling party tickets and offering jobs for money, which led to the defeat of Congress in Uttarakhand. “Allegations are published and disseminated by the person in a very prominent position and their supporters,” he said.
Harish Rawat, who led the Congress campaign in the recently concluded Uttarakhand Assembly polls, lost to Mohan Singh Bisht of Lalkuwa’s BJP by 17,527 votes. He has already lost three elections, with the 2022 Assembly elections being the fourth defeat.
Rawat on Sunday expressed anguish over his inability to guide the party to victory, saying he could not meet the expectations of the party leadership that had placed his trust in him.
“How much confidence she (Sonia Gandhi) had in me. All the top leaders in Congress had so much confidence in me. They all expected me to bring Congress back to power. There must have been some shortcoming on my part to because I couldn’t meet their expectations,” he said in a Facebook post.
The Congress was defeated in the Uttarakhand elections by the ruling BJP, which won 47 of the 70 Assembly seats; the majority is 36. Congress won only 19 seats.