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. The people of Haridwar will punish him for swindling the money allotted for the mela,” Mr Rawat said.

Countering the allegations, Mr Nishank said: “Mr. Rawat is the Chief Minister. 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.”

He said the people 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.

In 2012, Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal, while addressing a rally in Haridwar, had accused Mr. Nishank of indulging in corruption. He had quoted a Comptroller and Auditor General report that suggested a Rs. 200-crore scam in organising the Kumbh in 2010.