Rawat, BJP spar in Uttarakhand, Congress leader claims MLAs threatened

World Saturday 23/April/2016 23:22 PM
By: Times News Service
Rawat, BJP spar in Uttarakhand, Congress leader claims MLAs threatened

Dehradun: Former Uttarakhand chief minister Harish Rawat on Saturday accused Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) of threatening Congress and Progressive Democratic Front (PDF) Members of Legislative Assembly and urged the governor to provide security to them while BJP lashed out at the Congress leader, demanding legal action against him for his "unconstitutional" step of taking charge as chief minister without a written order from the High Court.
"BJP leaders are building an atmosphere of animosity and bitterness in the state. They are even issuing threats to Congress and PDF MLAs. I have urged the governor to make security arrangements for them," Rawat told reporters at Bijapur State Guest House.
The six-member Progressive Democratic Front (PDF), a combination of BSP, UKD and Independent MLAs, was a part of Rawat government and has stood by him during the current political crisis in the state.
Countering BJP leaders' claims that they had the numbers required for government formation, Rawat said MLAs supporting them should come out openly.
"They should openly state whether they are poaching MLAs or engineering another defection in Congress with money power," Rawat said.
BJP, however, attacked Rawat for "hurriedly" taking charge as chief minister and convening two cabinet meetings to take policy decisions even before a written order of the Uttarakhand High Court quashing President's Rule in the state could reach the Centre and the Governor.
A BJP delegation led by its state unit president Ajay Bhatt met Governor K. K.Paul and demanded appropriate legal action against Rawat, claiming his actions were "unconstitutional".
The delegation also demanded annulment of policy decisions taken by Rawat after his brief "reinstatement" as chief minister which came to an end with the Supreme Court putting a stay on the high court's verdict on Friday. The party's main contention was that Rawat went against parliamentary norms by assuming charge even before getting a signed copy of the high court's order.
Rawat, however, dismissed the charge saying if the Centre can go to the Supreme Court seeking a stay on the high court's order without having a written copy of it why can't he assume charge as CM without the same document.
Meanwhile, upping the ante on the Uttarakhand political crisis, Congress leaders have given notices for suspension of the question hour and adoption of a resolution condemning the imposition of President's Rule there when the Budget Session resumes after the recess.
The notices given by Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad and Deputy Leader of Congress in the House,
Anand Sharma, seek to corner the government on the issue accusing it of "destabilising" a democratically-elected government in Uttarakhand.
In his notice given under Rule 267, Sharma has also sought from Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari the passage of a resolution condemning the Modi government for "destabilistion" of the Uttarakhand government and imposition of President's Rule in the state.
The resolution reads "this House deplores the destabilisation of the democratically elected government in Uttarakhand and disapproves the unjustified imposition of President's Rule there under Article 356 of the Constitution."
Ever since the dismissal of the Rawat government and clamping of central rule, Congress has mounted an offensive against the Narendra Modi dispensation.
The party had started 'Loktantra Bachao, Uttarakhand Bachao' (Save Democracy, Save Uttarakhand) campaign to mobilise public support against the Centre.
The Supreme Court on Friday stayed till April 27 the judgement of the state High Court quashing imposition of President's rule, giving a new turn to the continuing political drama in the state by restoring central rule there.
Congress is trying to project the imposition of President's Rule in Uttarakhand and earlier in another party- ruled state of Arunachal Pradesh as an "attack" on the federal structure and is hopeful that a large number of Opposition parties will back it in cornering the government on the issue.