An alleged video of former Uttarakhand Prime Minister Tirath Singh Rawat saying no work can be done in the state without paying commission has surfaced online.
The undated video reportedly shows the BJP leader sitting in a room and complaining about “commissionkhori” in the state.
“While I have been prime minister and perhaps shouldn’t say this, I have no hesitation in admitting that when we were separated from Uttar Pradesh, up to 20% commission was paid there to get public works done.
“After the divorce, it should have come down to zero here, but the practice continued and we started at 20 percent,” Rawat says.
The hill state was carved out of Uttar Pradesh in 2000.
“I have been told that nothing can be done here (Uttarakhand) without paying a certain percentage as a commission,” said the BJP MP from Pauri.
“Commissionkhori was a common practice in Uttar Pradesh and unfortunately it still continues in Uttarakhand,” he said.
However, Rawat said no one in particular can be held responsible. “It’s a mentality. It will only disappear if we start thinking of our state as our own family.” The BJP is in power in both Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh.
The former prime minister is no stranger to controversy.
In March last year, Rawat had said that young people follow strange fashion trends due to a lack of values and consider themselves big boys when they wear ripped jeans, and women follow such trends too.
He then described the clothing of a woman sitting next to him on a flight. He described her as wearing boots, ripped jeans at the knees, bracelets in her hands and with two children traveling with her. He had said that the woman runs an NGO, goes out into society and wondered what values she would give her children.
Within days, he had again sparked controversy by saying, “the US has enslaved India for 200 years”.
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