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Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat addressing the media outside the Assembly in Dehradun (Photo: PTI)

Pranab Mukherjee imposes President’s rule in Uttarakhand

WT24 Desk

New Delhi: Uttarakhand was brought under President’s Rule by the Centre on grounds of “breakdown of governance” Sunday in a controversial decision which comes in the wake of a political crisis triggered by a rebellion in the ruling Congress,PTI reports.

President Pranab Mukherjee signed the proclamation under Art 356 of the Constitution dismissing the Congress government headed by Harish Rawat and placing the Assembly under suspended animation this morning on recommendation of the Union Cabinet.

The Cabinet had held an emergency meeting here last night presided over by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who had cut short a visit to Assam to return to the capital for the purpose.

The Cabinet considered several reports received from Governor K K Paul, who had described the political situation as volatile and expressed apprehensions over possible pandemonium during the scheduled trial of strength in the state Assembly tomorrow.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley is believed to have briefed the President late last night explaining the rationale for the Cabinet’s recommendation.

The dismissal of the Rawat government now renders tomorrow’s confidence vote infructuous.

It also came amidst reports that Speaker Govind Singh Kunjwal had disqualified 9 rebel Congress MLAs that would have enabled Rawat to sail through in the trust vote.

The Congress denounced the decision calling it a “murder of democracy” and said it showed that BJP did not believe in democracy.

The Congress, which has a strength of 36 MLAs in the 70-member Assembly, has been faceing revolt by nine MLAs, led by former chief minister Vijay Bahuguna, who are said to have voted against the government in the financial business last week.

The Union Cabinet met soon after Prime Minister Narendra Modi returned from Assam.

Ahead of the meeting, a BJP delegation met President Pranab Mukherjee and demanded President’s Rule in the state, saying chief minister 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.

The rebel Congress MLAs on Saturday alleged they were offered bribe by the CM for support during the floor test and released a video of a “sting” operation purportedly showing the CM, who called it “fake”.

The Congress alleged the “dirty tricks department” of BJP president Amit Shah was at work, while the saffron outfit demanded “immediate dismissal” of the Rawat government.

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