Accusing the BJP and also supporters of a Congress leader of trying to tarnish his image, former Uttarakhand chief minister Harish Rawat has said he would quit politics if proven that he ever made a statement on establishing a Muslim university in the state.
Attributing the statement to Mr Rawat, who was the Congress' campaign head for the Uttarakhand assembly elections, the BJP had made it a major issue in the run-up to the polls.
The assembly elections were held on February 14 and the BJP recorded a big victory for a second consecutive term by winning 47 out of the 70 seats in the state.
"For quite some time since our electoral loss, there has been a barrage of unfounded allegations against me on social media without rhyme or reason. Apart from BJP supporters, some people associated with one of our leaders are also firing salvos at me. They think it is an opportunity to throw me onto the ground and kill me," Mr Rawat said in a Facebook post on Sunday without naming anyone.
The senior Congress leader said he had recently offered a cash reward of Rs 50,000 to anyone who brought to him 10 copies of the newspaper which reported it.
"However, now that supporters of a Congress leader are also part of this smear campaign against me I have increased the amount to Rs 1 lakh. The day it is proven that the statement on establishing a Muslim university was made by me, I would sit under Mahatma Gandhi's statue and retire from politics," Mr Rawat said.
He said he wants to expose those responsible for spreading this lie about him through social media.
"I have to contradict the false allegations being made against me and unmask the people behind this conspiracy," Mr Rawat said.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)