Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat on Friday accused the Bharatiya Janata Party candidate from Haridwar, Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank, of involvement in a Rs. 200-crore scam in organising the 2010 Maha Kumbh mela. Mr. Nishank was the Chief Minister of the State during the 2010 Kumbh Mela.

Mr Rawat said the Kumbh money was spent on shoddy work. “(In the elections) Mr. Nishank will bear the brunt of his actions during the 2010 Kumbh,” Mr Rawat said.

“The people of Haridwar will punish him (Mr Nishank) for swindling the money allotted for the (2010) Kumbh mela,” he added.

Countering Mr Rawat’s allegations, Mr Nishank said, “Mr. Rawat is the Chief Minister of the State. He should not indulge in levelling baseless allegations. He should only speak about it (his involvement in the alleged corruption in Kumbh mela) if he can prove it.”

Mr. Nishank said the people of Haridwar were unhappy with Mr. Rawat’s work, who is the sitting MP from the constituency.

“The people of Haridwar are dissatisfied with Mr Rawat’s work. They will search for him to question his shoddy work during his tenure as an MP (instead of me),” Mr. Nishank said.