Union Cabinet meets on U'khand crisis; A BJP conspiracy: Soni

March 26, 2016

NEW DELHI: The Congress has described the Union Cabinet meeting held in the national Capital on Saturday evening to decide on the political crisis in Uttarakhand as a drama of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

"This appears to be the last phase of the drama played out by the BJP since March 18. Now that the cabinet meeting is underway, there are clear indications that would go to the President. This is a huge conspiracy by BJP and Centre to destabilize Congress Governments. First they did it in Arunachal Pradesh and now here," senior Congress leader Ambika Soni said at a press conference here.

"First the Finance Bill was passed by voice vote, and then when their plans to topple the government did not succeed they went to the Governor. Then they all, including nine Congress MLAs, gave a joint memorandum to dismiss the government. Then the Governor, according to Constitutional traditions, gave time to Harish Rawat's government to prove majority. But, they were not happy with that," she added.

According to reports, Union Cabinet met here tonight to consider the situation in Uttarakhand amidst speculation that it may consider the option of President's Rule in the state. The Cabinet met soon after Prime Minister Narendra Modi returned from Assam.

Amid political turmoil in Uttarakhand, rebel Congress leader Vijay Bahuguna earlier demanded the removal of Governor K. K. Paul, alleging that he had misused his constitutional position by giving time to a minority government to prove its majority.

Paul had on March 19 written to Chief Minister Harish Rawat to prove majority in the House by March 28.

Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat earlier demanded answers from Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah for the political crisis in his state and alleged the saffron party was using money power to destabilize his government.

Rawat has also recommended the Uttarakhand Assembly Speaker Govind Singh Kunjwal to dismiss rebel Congress MLAs from the House. Meanwhile, Section 144 has been imposed in the state and security outside the residences of MLAs has been stepped up. Earlier today, rebel Congress MLA Harak Singh Rawat presented a CD, alleging that efforts were being made purchase the BJP MLAs, including the nine rebel Congress MLAs. Harak Singh, through a sting, has also claimed that Harish Rawat threatened the MLAs. He also said that they have expressed their security concerns to the Centre as they are getting threats.

Earlier, the Uttarakhand High Court dismissed the petition filed by the rebel Congress MLAs challenging the notice issued to them by the Assembly speaker.

Nine rebel MLAs had earlier on Friday filed a petition in the High Court challenging the showcause notice issued to them by the Speaker.

Chief Minister Rawat rejected the Opposition's claim that the ruling Congress Government has slipped into minority after its nine MLAs defected and said that his government was in majority and if the Opposition has any doubt then they should bring a no-confidence motion.

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