Uttarakhand crisis: Harish Rawat out, President takes over

President Pranab Mukherjee signed the proclamation, dismissing the Congress government headed by Harish Rawat, on the recommendation of the Union Cabinet

New Delhi: Uttarakhand was yesterday brought under President’s rule by the Centre on grounds of “breakdown of governance” in a controversial decision, which comes in the wake of a political crisis triggered by a rebellion in the ruling Congress.

Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat addressing the media outside the Assembly in Dehradun. Pic/PTI
Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat addressing the media outside the Assembly in Dehradun. Pic/PTI

President Pranab Mukherjee signed the proclamation under Article 356 of the Constitution dismissing the Congress government headed by Harish Rawat and placing the Assembly under suspended animation yesterday morning on the recommendation of the Union Cabinet. The Cabinet had held an emergency meeting here on Saturday night presided over by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who had cut short a visit to Assam to return to the capital for the purpose.

The Cabinet considered several reports received from Governor K K Paul, who had described the political situation as volatile and expressed apprehensions over possible pandemonium during the scheduled trial of strength in the state Assembly today.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley is believed to have briefed the President late Saturday night explaining the rationale for the Cabinet’s recommendation.

The dismissal of the Rawat government now renders today’s confidence vote infructuous. It also came amidst reports that Speaker Govind Singh Kunjwal had disqualified 9 rebel Congress MLAs that would have enabled Rawat to sail through in the trust vote.

Modi’s hands are dipped in blood, says Rawat
Dehradun: Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat yesterday condemned the imposition of President’s rule in the state as a “murder” of democracy and the Constitution and said Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s hands were dipped in the “blood” of the “trampled” aspirations of the people.

“It is a murder of democracy and the Constitution. Modi’s hands are dipped in the blood of the trampled aspirations of the people of Uttarakhand,” Rawat said at his first news conference here after the imposition of President’s rule. Alleging that central rule was a result of a “premeditated conspiracy”, Rawat also said BJP was “thirsty for his blood” from the day he assumed office in February 2014.

Former DG CRPF, ex-culture secretary named advisers to Uttarakhand governor
Former Director General of CRPF Prakash Mishra and former Union Culture Secretary Ravindra Singh were appointed as advisers to the governor of Uttarakhand, where President’s Rule has been imposed.

Mishra, a 1977-batch Odisha cadre IPS officer, had retired as the chief of the world’s largest paramilitary force last month. Singh, a 1979-batch Uttar Pradesh cadre IAS officer, had retired from service in April last year.

The two advisers to Governor KK Paul were appointed after President’s Rule was imposed in the hill state today following days of political uncertainty as nine Congress MLAs revolted against the Harish Rawat-led Congress government.

The Centre has justified the imposition of President’s Rule in Uttarakhand, contending that there was “no better example” for invoking Article 356.

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