BJP general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya, who has been coordinating BJP efforts to dislodge the Harish Rawat government in Uttarakhand with the help of nine Congress rebel MLAs, Wednesday said the Governor should not have given the Chief Minister “so much time… to prove majority that the Speaker gets an opportunity to disqualify the (rebel) MLAs”.
“I cannot say that the Governor is helping them (Congress) but we are at a loss,” Vijayvargiya said at the Idea Exchange programme of The Indian Express — the full transcript will be published Sunday.
Governor K K Paul has asked Harish Rawat to prove his majority by March 28.
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Vijayvargiya said he also told the Uttarakhand Director General of Police on March 18 — when Congress workers, angry over the rebellion, did not allow their nine legislators and BJP MLAs to leave the assembly building — that “if there is some other government tomorrow, you must think what will happen to you”.
Responding to a query on the role of the Raj Bhavan as Dehradun plunged into a political crisis, Vijayvargiya said: “I think the Governor should not give so much time to the Chief Minister to prove majority that the Speaker gets an opportunity to disqualify the MLAs. The Governor should have issued directions that status quo be maintained and no action be taken against the MLAs until the trust vote.”
He claimed the BJP leadership was approached by Congress leaders who were “frustrated with their leadership’s attitude” towards them and they decided to seek a vote on the state budget to pull down the government. But the Speaker, he said, did not allow any voting.
Recalling the developments in the assembly on March 18, he said when the Congress rebels and BJP legislators tried to leave the premises, Congress workers encircled the building. He said they sought the help of the DGP but “it took him three hours to help the MLAs come out and go to Governor House… the DG was not helpful”.
“I was angry and called up the DG to tell him that the government has fallen. If there is some other government tomorrow, you must think what will happen to you. After that, the DG came to the spot himself. We also told the Governor about the situation, that representatives wanted to meet him. The Governor spoke to the DG. The DG then helped the MLAs get on to a bus which drove them to Raj Bhavan,” he said.
Vijayvargiya said the BJP paraded 35 MLAs before the Governor. “Every MLA was called out by name, each one of them stood up and registered presence. The entire incident has been videotaped,” he said.
The BJP leaders asked the Governor to make the Chief Minister take a floor test within 24 hours. When that did not happen, the BJP, he said, decided to move the MLAs to a safer place.
“We immediately concluded that the MLAs were not safe and needed to be taken away. Anything could happen. We arranged for an aircraft and came to Delhi,” he said.