The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) summoned former Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat on Thursday in connection with a sting operation.

The sting CD made by the editor-in-chief of a private news channel and circulated by the nine Congress rebels, who triggered a political crisis in the state by siding with opposition BJP in the state Assembly, purportedly shows Rawat negotiating a money deal with the journalist to buy the support of MLAs who had revolted against him.

Sources close to Rawat said that he is likely to join the investigation on Monday.

Last week, Rawat had virtually accepted his presence in the video. He, however, said meeting a journalist was not a crime.

Claiming innocence, Rawat said if the CD contained evidence of him having made an offer in cash or kind in exchange for the support of disgruntled MLAs, he was ready to be hanged in public.

“If any evidence is found against me like me offering money or post to anybody, hang me at Clock tower,” he had told reporters.

Alleging that the sting operation and the CBI probe into it were part of a “criminal conspiracy” by the BJP to topple an elected government, he dared Prime Minister Narendra Modi and party chief Amit Shah to put him in jail if he is found guilty.

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