The Centre on Sunday imposed President’s Rule in the state of Uttarakhand following reports from the state Governor over the lack of confidence of the Harish Rawat-led government.
Meanwhile, State Assembly kept in suspended animation.
President Pranab Mukherjee signed the proclamation under Article 356 of the Constitution this morning: highly placed sources told PTI.
The recommendation for central rule was made by the Union Cabinet at its emergency meeting last night, chaired by PM Narendra Modi who cut short his visit to Assam.
After the Cabinet meeting, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley briefed the President late last night, the sources said.
Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat on Sunday condemned the “threat” by the Centre to impose President’s rule in the hill state hit by a political crisis, saying it will be a murder of democracy and that it is not acceptable in a parliamentary system.
“The Centre is threatening a small state like Uttarakhand with President’s rule. It is not acceptable in a parliamentary system. There is a procedure for President’s rule, which has
emerged following precedence,” he told reporters on the eve of the floor test which he is due to face in the state assembly.
Rawat also accused BJP of attacking democracy with money and muscle power in its bid to dislodge his four-year-old Congress government.
“They (BJP) have attacked democracy with money and muscle power,” he said and appealed to the “right-thinking” people to condemn attempts by BJP to “murder democracy”.
Rawat said BJP was not relying on people’s mandate and accused it of using money power to overthrow the government in Uttarakhand. “It is low-level politics.”
Rejecting suggestions there is a division within Congress that has led to the current crisis, Rawat said, “We do not have any internal tussle. It is BJP and RSS which are hobnobbing with the Congress rebels to create the crisis.”
Nine Congress MLAs have raised the banner of revolt against Rawat.
The Chief Minister said Congress will take the attempts to destablise his government to the people of the state and that it will be up to them to decide whether “sting” and defections
will determine the future of the state.
The furore emerged when Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal alleged that the Bharatiya Janata Party was indulging in horse-trading in Uttarakhand.
“Brazen horse trading-first Arunachal now Uttarakhand. BJP proving to be most corrupt, deshdrohi and power hungry,” he said in a tweet.
The BJP, rubbishing allegations of indulging in horse-trading in Uttarakhand where nine Congress legislators have revolted, demanded the Harish Rawat government should be dismissed as it had lost its majority.
The party also challenged the chief minister to prove his majority in the assembly.
“Allegations of horse-trading are ridiculous. The legislators of Congress have revolted against the functioning of Rawat and his dictatorial attitude,” BJP general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya told reporters.
Vijayvargiya also challenged Rawat to prove his majority if he claims so. “If voting could have taken place in assembly yesterday (Friday), he would have known his strength. I challenge him to prove his majority on any forum.”
He also said the anti-defection law against the rebel Congress leaders would not stand because the BJP had already moved a no-confidence motion against the speaker.
Earlier, the Rawat government ended up with a red face as it got merely 32 votes in favour against the 36 required for the Finance Bill to be passed.
Vijayvargiya said here that Rawat government was now in minority and the governor should dismiss it. “We are ready to form the government as well as to face fresh elections,” he told reporters.