Against the backdrop of President’s Rule being imposed in Uttarakhand, Chief Minister Harish Rawat Sunday said the BJP-led central government has been desperate to dislodge his government ever since it came to power.
“Ek baat toh saaf hai ki BJP netritva ki kendra sarkar pehle din se hi mere aur meri sarkar ki khoon ki pyasi thi (One thing is clear that the BJP-led central government has been baying for my and my government’s blood since day one),” Rawat said.
“BJP leaders did propaganda by levelling corruption charges against me. Their desperation turned into a blind vehshipan (savagery) when my government presented a populist budget for growth and welfare of all sections of society, including minorities and Dalits, in the budget session,” Rawat said. “Jab finance minister Indira Hridayesh ne budget pesh kiya, BJP ne tay kar liya ki Harish Rawat ka sir kalam karna hai (When Hridayesh presented the budget, the BJP made up its mind to go after me).”
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On Sunday evening, Rawat, accompanied by Hridayesh, visited the Governor’s House with a request to allow him to prove majority on the floor of the assembly Monday. As the Governor did not meet them, Rawat gave a letter of his request to a representative.
Earlier in the day, Rawat alleged that the BJP paid off the rebel MLAs, and that “rates were fixed” for each legislator.
Rawat also called “unusual” the fact that President’s Rule was imposed when he still had 24 hours left to prove a majority in the assembly. “What was the urgency that the BJP gave a sharp edged weapon to Narendra Modi to behead Harish Rawat? This is a murder of democracy, parliamentary rules, Constitution, values of B R Ambedkar and sentiments of the people of Uttarakhand,” he said.
He dared the Central government to dissolve the assembly and face fresh elections. “What they are waiting for? If I am wrong, I will face defeat in polls,” he said, adding that the PM and BJP chief Amit Shah will pay for their actions in Uttarakhand during assembly polls in other states this year.
He also took mediapersons on a tour of his official residence in Bijapur to show that he lives a simple life. Referring to rebel Congress MLA Harak Singh Rawat, who levelled corruption charges against him, the CM said, “Being a member of my cabinet, Harak Singh Rawat was a burden on the government. It is unfortunate that I had to compromise with a minister for whom money was everything.”
Rawat also said he will take legal recourse and will meet Governor K K Paul on Monday. “I will go to the public and tell them that Modi sacked my government because I belong to a poor family,” he said. “They are engineering defections… They did it in Arunachal and now they are doing it in Uttarakhand.”
Meanwhile, Uttarakhand assembly speaker Govind Singh Kunjwal Sunday announced the disqualification of nine rebel MLAs of the Congress party, including former chief minister Vijay Bahuguna, under the anti-defection law.
The nine Congress MLAs who were disqualified are Vijay Bahuguna, Harak Singh Rawat, Amrita Rawat, Kunwar Pranav Singh Champion, Shaila Rani Rawat, Pradip Batra, Subodh Uniyal, Shailendra Mohan Singhal and Umesh Sharma.
The MLAs had jointly submitted a request letter to the Governor on March 18 to dismiss the Harish Rawat government.