BJP demands Prez rule in Uttarakhand

New Delhi: Taking its battle in Uttarakhand to the President for the second time in a week, BJP today demanded President’s Rule in the state, saying Chief Minister Harish Rawat has no right to continue after a sting operation purportedly showed him bargaining with rebel party MLAs to win their support ahead of floor test on March 28.

BJP’s memorandum to the President was also critical of state Governor K K Paul, saying he “did not act on the request of the majority of the legislature to dismiss the state government and on the contrary granted 10 days time” to Rawat to prove his majority.

“Such a long time has given an opportunity to the Chief Minister to indulge in illegal, unconstitutional practices including horse trading to convert a minority into majority,” it said.

A delegation of party leaders met President Pranab Mukherjee and expressed apprehension that the Congress government may try to “abuse” the Speaker’s office to disqualify rebel MLAs to win the floor test.

Party General Secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya told reporters after meeting the President that there was no need for a show of strength in the Assembly following the sting and a constitutional crisis existed in the state.

“Even if the government wins the floor test by disqualifying a few MLAs, it will be murder of democracy. They may try to misuse the Speaker’s office to turn a minority government into a majority government.

“We told the President that after the sting, the state government has no right to continue in power even for a minute. You should take necessary action and impose President’s Rule,” he said.

The BJP delegation included its vice presidents Vinay Sahasrabudhe and Shyam Jaju, who is also the state in-charge, and general secretary Anil Jain, national secretary Shrikant Sharma and MP Bhagat Singh Koshyari besides Vijarvargiya, who is handling the political crisis in the state.

“In a desperate attempt to cling to power undemocratically and unconstitutionally, Harish Rawat has started approaching the (rebel) legislators belonging to Congress as well as BJP and the other parties, offering them crores of rupees to support him in the floor test,” the party’s letter to the President said.

It alleged that BJP MLA Bhimlal Arya has been kept in “illegal confinement”.

At a press conference earlier in the day, BJP had said the state government must be sacked so that “misuse of power is stopped”.

He also refuted the Congress’ charge that party chief Amit Shah and Prime Minister Narendra Modi were involved in the political activities in toppling the incumbent government, saying the constitutional crisis was caused by its internal bickering.