Centre justifies Prez rule in U’khand after HC sets aside decision

NewDelhi: Asserting that the Centre respects the rule of law, Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu on Friday said President’s rule was temporarily imposed in Uttarakhand as there was a Constitution breakdown in the hill state.

Naidu, however, said that one must wait for the verdict of the Supreme Court on the Uttarakhand political crisis.

“The matter is being taken up to the higher court. Let us wait for the final verdict of the court. As far as we are concerned, we feel that there was no way other then 356. The assembly is not dissolved, the S. R. Bommai case has been kept in mind because there was a Constitution breakdown temporary President’s rule has been imposed,” Naidu told ANI here.

“As far as we are concerned, we always respect the rule of law, we respect the Constitution,” he added.

Justifying the move to recommend President’s rule, Naidu said the Government of India is very clear that there is a Constitution breakdown in Uttarakhand because the Appropriation Bill is not passed.

“On one hand the government is saying the Appropriation Bill has been passed with a voice vote, on the other hand the Speaker disqualifies the MLAs saying that you have opposed the government. How can these two things go together? There is confusion on the contradiction that has to be cleared,” Naidu said.

“Secondly, how can you have a trial of strength by disqualifying the MLAs? The trial of strength has to be fair, impartial. If you disqualify the opposition or if you disqualify the MLAs who are opposing you and then you say that I have got the majority it will be travesty of truth and also against the basic principles of democracy,” he added.

Hailing the High Court’s verdict ordering restoration of his government in Uttarakhand, Chief Minister Harish Rawat earlier in the day said the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led Centre has ‘every right’ to approach the Supreme Court in this regard but added that the ruling dispensation must not disturb the federal structure for ulterior motives.

Rawat also slammed the Centre for interfering with the functioning of the states and said that dismissing the governments on the basis of ‘local politics’ was incorrect.

“They won’t get any respite from the Supreme Court because this decision was taken keeping the welfare of the state in mind. They have every right to approach the apex court. We would like to request the Centre to allow the state governments to work the way they want as that is what the federal structure is all about,” Rawat told ANI in Dehradun.

“Regarding the court’s decision, let the local people decide if it is good or bad. Removing the governments on the basis of local politics is not right,” he added.

Meanwhile, the Centre will move the Supreme Court today challenging the Uttarakhand High Court’s order quashing the imposition of President’s rule in the state.

Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi yesterday said he will mention the matter before the apex court seeking a stay on the verdict.

The High Court yesterday ordered restoration of the Rawat-led Congress government in the state, saying that the Centre did not have any concrete proof to impose the President’s rule.

The High Court asked Rawat to prove his government’s majority on the floor of the Assembly on April 29. (ANI)