Uttarakhand in turmoil: How the Harish Rawat-led government lost power

President's Rule was imposed in Uttarakhand on Sunday, days after nine Congress legislators rebelled against Chief Minister Harish Rawat.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: March 28, 2016 3:14 pm
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President’s Rule was imposed in Uttarakhand on Sunday, days after nine Congress legislators rebelled against Chief Minister Harish Rawat. According to sources, the union cabinet had recommended the central rule on Saturday night after an hour-long meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Here is how the political crisis in Uttarakhand escalated

March 18: Amid growing dissent against the leadership of Harish Rawat and a section of the Congress MLAs questioning his style of functioning, nine Congress MLAs, including a minister, join hands with the opposition BJP which meets the Governor to stake claim to form the government. The nine legislators include Saket Bahuguna, son of former CM Vijay Bahuguna, beside Harak Singh Rawat, Amrita Rawat, Kunwar Pranav Singh Champion, Shaila Rani Rawat, Pradip Batra, Subodh Uniyal, Shailendra Mohan Singhal and Umesh Sharma.

March 19: While Chief Minister Harish Rawat maintains he has majority in the House, a three-member BJP delegation meets Governor K K Paul, seeking dismissal of the Rawat government. Governor Dr. Krishnakant Pal writes to CM Harish Rawat, asks him to prove majority in the house by March 28.

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March 21: Congress expels Saket Bahuguna and party joint secretary Anil Gupta for six years for ‘anti-party’ activities. Vijay Bahuguna and the other eight rebels issued notices by Speaker G S Kunjwal under the anti-defection law. The battle over Uttarakhand reaches the President’s door with BJP demanding dismissal of the Harish Rawat government while Congress accusing the Centre of destabilising it even as two party rebels were expelled.

March 23: Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi hits out at the BJP accusing it of indulging in ‘horse trading and blatant misuse of money and muscle’ to topple governments. Rahul said the Uttarakhand crisis has exposed the “true face of Modiji’s BJP” and declared that the Congress would fight this “demagoguery with democracy”. Meanwhile, BJP claims support of at least five more MLAs from the Congress led alliance.

March 24: Congress drags Ramdev into the picture accusing him of “hatching” a plot jointly with BJP leadership to topple the state government. “Ramdev was in touch with Congress rebels and is one of the key persons besides the BJP President involved in hatching a conspiracy against the ruling party. He (Ramdev) worked like a BJP agent to foment a rebellion against the state government and topple it,” sai”us Uttarakhand Pradesh Congress president Kishore Upadhyay.

March 25: Nine rebel Congress MLAs of Uttarakhand, including former chief minister Vijay Bahuguna, seek more time from Assembly Speaker G S Kunjwal to submit their replies to the show-cause notices issued to them on March 19.

March 26: The political situation in Uttarakhand turns murkier with rebel Congress MLAs alleging they were offered money by Chief Minister Harish Rawat to back his government during the floor test on Monday. The rebels release a video which they claim was a sting operation. The sting video — shot by private TV channel Samachar Plus and released by rebel leaders Vijay Bahuguna and Harak Singh Rawat — shows the chief minister purportedly talking to a man whose face is not visible. Union Cabinet holds emergency meeting. Arun jaitley reportedly briefs President Pranab Mukherjee.

March 27: President’s rule imposed in Uttarakhand a day before floor test. The Congress denounced the decision calling it “murder of democracy” and says it showed that BJP did not believe in democracy. The dismissal of the Rawat government now renders tomorrow’s confidence vote infructuous.

March 28: The Congress is expected to challenge the decision in court. The party yesterday termed the move as murder of democracy and said it would cast a shadow on the working of the second half of the Budget Session of Parliament.

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