THE CONGRESS Sunday blamed the BJP’s top leadership for the political crisis in Uttarakhand with Chief Minister Harish Rawat accusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah of misusing power, and party vice-president Rahul Gandhi saying it showed the “true face of Modiji’s BJP”.
Addressing party workers for the first time after nine Congress MLAs, including former CM Vijay Bahuguna, voted against the Budget in the Assembly Friday, Rawat also accused the BJP of being “intolerant” against those who speak against its ideology.
Congress sources, meanwhile, confirmed that Rawat had put off his visit to Delhi Sunday and added that he “has not yet sought time from the party leadership”.
Referring to the sedition row in JNU, the recent controversies over consumption of beef or the suicide of a Dalit research scholar in Hyderabad, Rawat said, “If somebody writes against them, they finish that person. If a person eats anything against their wish, they kill that person, too. If a Dalit student raises voice against them, they force him to kill himself. If a youth of backward caste in Delhi challenges their ideology, they send him to jail.”
He added, “If a government in any state is not as per their wish, they use power and money to destabilise that government. After Arunachal Pradesh, they have now made a similar attempt in Uttarakhand.”
Rahul Gandhi, meanwhile, took on the BJP in a series of tweets. “Toppling elected governments by indulging in horse-trading and blatant misuse of money and muscle, seems to be BJP’s new model, after failure in Bihar. This attack on our democracy and constitution, first in Arunachal and now Uttarakhand, is the true face of Modiji’s BJP. Congress party will fight demagoguery with democracy,” he tweeted.
In Dehradun, accompanied by ministers Preetam Singh and Dinesh Agrawal, Rawat accused Modi and Shah of trying to “purchase” MLAs. “Several MLAs have spoken before cameras of TV channels that BJP had offered them money. Is it not an unethical act? Aren’t these people tarnishing democracy?” said Rawat.
Meanwhile, Speaker Govind Singh Kunjwal sent letters to all the MLAs to be present in the Assembly on March 28 when the Chief Minister will have to prove majority on the floor of the House.
On Saturday, the Speaker had issued notices to the nine Congress rebels under the anti-defection law and sought their reply within seven days.
In the evening, Rawat met Governor K K Paul. Sources said that it was a courtesy meet in which the CM extended thanks to the Governor for giving him an opportunity to prove majority in the House.