President’s rule in Uttarakhand revoked: Upbeat Congress looks at early elections

Prime Minister should tender apology in Parliament, says party.

Written by Manoj C G | New Delhi | Updated: May 12, 2016 12:13 pm
uttarakhand, uttarakhand crisis, presidnet's rule in uttarakhand, harish rawat, congress, uttarakhand congress, indian express news, uttarakhand news Harish Rawat celebrates with party workers in Dehradun on Wednesday.

ON a high after the Harish Rawat government was reinstated in Uttarakhand, the Congress Wednesday launched a no-holds-barred attack on the Central government, even as the party began weighing the pros and cons of going for early assembly elections to cash in on what it deems is a sympathy factor for Rawat.

Uttarakhand is scheduled to go to the polls early next year, and the party believes this episode of President’s Rule will leave it with enough ammo.

Taking the attack to PM Narendra Modi, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi said, “Hope Modiji learns his lesson. People of this country and the institutions built by our founding fathers will not tolerate murder of democracy. They did their worst. We did our best.

WATCH VIDEO | Harish Rawat-led Congress Govt Back Again In Uttarakhand: An Analysis

Democracy won in Uttarakhand.” Addressing mediapersons, senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal said, “The Prime Minister should tender an apology in Parliament and sack the minister who advised him to impose President’s Rule.”

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Asked specifically about the possibility of early elections in the state, Ambika Soni, Congress general secretary in-charge of Uttarakhand, told The Indian Express: “I am not ruling it out; I am not ruling it in. This is something which individuals don’t decide.” She said the party will discuss all the possibilities with the state leadership.

Congress Working Committee member Anil Shastri did not hedge his bets, and categorically stated, “Rawat must go for fresh elections. He will win hands down. If elections are held immediately, the Uttarakhand electorate will make BJP bite the dust.”

Several senior leaders said the party’s assessment is that there is a sentiment in favour of Rawat, especially among his Thakur community, which comprises nearly half the state’s electorate. “The Thakur community’s vote is very significant and is the deciding factor. And there is huge sympathy in the community in favour of Rawat, although it is up to him to take a final call,” a senior leader said.

Rawat, of course, will closely watch the CBI inquiry against him in the sting operation case. “On the face of it, we feel the CBI will go after him,” another senior Congress leader said. “The BJP government will not let this issue die down. He may wait to see which way the investigation proceeds before taking a call.”

Many leaders feel Rawat should face the polls now, riding on the momentum generated by a mass contact campaign he and the party had undertaken to protest against President’s Rule, rather than wait till the assembly runs its term, by which time some of the momentum might be lost. But the party will first try and get a sense of its remaining MLAs, leaders said — since the party does not have a majority on its own, the view of allies will also matter.

While 10 Congress MLAs have switched sides, the party has not suffered a split or major erosion in its ranks even in the constituencies of these MLAs.

Soni congratulated the party MLAs for “standing together firmly with deep conviction” and for not allowing “floor crossing to take place”. The party, she said, “has fought back…the BJP did not stop short at anything. The allurements which were offered, according to our MLAs…some said they threatened with ED, IT, and IB… Some of our MLAs were really financially vulnerable..they come from far-flung areas, and they still resisted (money).”

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  1. T
    TIHAEwale
    May 12, 2016 at 6:54 am
    Feku56, Tadipaar Amit and Arun Jhoot Lie only understand Akela Arvind
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    1. R
      Rajesh
      May 12, 2016 at 5:53 am
      Bakre ki maan kab tak khair manayegi. Congress has to go from India. Looters will not be tolerated. Congress should say sorry to country and return all money looted by them to public with interest. They have to shed their arrogance and policy of divide and rule India. Then they have right to exist otherwise this party must be dissolved as per wish of Mahatma Ghandhi.
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      1. Ashutosh Shukla
        May 12, 2016 at 7:32 am
        It is heartening to see the upbeat mood of Rawat Camp. However there are quite a few question that need to be asked.lt;br/gt;1. How did they manage to get 6 extra votes- were they bought- were the MLA's threatened- or imprisoned or held captive in either of the cases Rawat is wrong. If these things happened then why it is not reported . What was money which changed hands. Clearly it was not a conscience vote - considering 3 independents- 2 BSP and 1 BJPlt;br/gt;2. What happened to 9 rebel MLAs - why were they not allowed to vote is judiciary tainted or bought by the legislature or they have their own agenda. They are sitting MLAs so what happened to their voice or they dont matter if they oppose.lt;br/gt;3. BJP has a bad luck with floor tests- they seem to loose every one that they contest. Perhaps they have not mastered the art of buying or may be they bank too much on ideological support - we have seen it in 13 days of Vajpayee Government. Does it mean that they have lesser money at disposable than Mr Rawat. Congress has a record that is unbeatable fo course this not a time and place to talk about.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;In any case this is short lived victory. Bask in glory while you can.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;Jai Hind
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        1. Mohammad Bin Tughlaq
          May 12, 2016 at 6:28 am
          As of now can the CM dissolve the embly and go for early election? Is it an active embly or in suspended animation till the disqualification issue is decided by the Supreme Court?
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          1. Mohammad Bin Tughlaq
            May 12, 2016 at 5:46 am
            Congress winning is nothing much to celebrate. It is like ping an examination using unfair means. Technically Congress might have won but morally not. If centre is being blamed for proclaiming president's rule prematurely, the partisan speaker has helped the Congress in this trust vote. And much more than that the case of the result of the sting operation has not been over. And the disqualification issue has also not settled. If Supreme Court annuls the disqualification what will be the fate of the present rejuvenated Congress ministry? Will it not make the floor test irrelevant? It was not proper to hold the floor test before the disqualification of the 9 MLAs was decided by the SC.
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