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Uttarakhand crisis: We have faith in the judiciary – Harish Rawat on SC ruling

With the Supreme Court maintaining a status quo on President’s rule in Uttarakhand, deposed chief minister Harish Rawat on Tuesday said he has full faith in the judiciary and will accept the apex court’s decision.”I have total faith in the judiciary. We will embrace whatever the apex court finally rules in case of Uttarakhand,” he told reporters in his brief reaction to the Supreme Court order directing maintenance of status quo on the presidential promulgation in the state. Echoing Rawat, senior party leader and former minister Indira Hridayesh also said her party respects the courts of law.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”We respect the judgement of courts. We believe in guarding the Constitution,” she said.Similar reactions came from opposition BJP too with the party’s state president Ajay Bhatt saying, “We have faith in the Supreme Court and whatever final verdict it gives will be acceptable to us.”The Supreme Court today extended its stay on the quashing of the President’s rule while hearing the Centre’s appeal against the Uttarakhand High Court judgement revoking central rule in the hill state.

Uttarakhand crisis: Every act of public functionary must be bona fide, not mala fide, says High Court

Every act of a public functionary at any level must be bona fide even in an action like imposing President’s rule in a state, which is liable to be struck down if it is done with mala fide, the Uttarakhand High Court has held.The court noted that there is a modicum of power with the President having regard to Article 74 to always ask the Cabinet to reconsider any advice but if the same advice is re-tendered after re-consideration, it binds the President.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The material (on which the decision is taken) cannot be irrelevant or extraneous. It cannot be mala fide. Every act of a public functionary at any level must be bona fide. It is, therefore, that, even in an action under Article 356, the action is liable to be visited with invalidation if it is done mala fide,” the bench of Chief Justice K M Joseph and Justice V K Bist has said.The observations are part of the 99-page judgement the bench orally dictated in the open court on April 21 which was made available today with the signatures of the judges.The judgement quashed the imposition of President’s rule imposed in the state on March 27 and revived the government of Harish Rawat who had challenged the President’s notification under Article 356. The Supreme Court had on Friday stayed the judgement till April 27 on the ground that the signed verdict was not available and asked it to be submitted by tomorrow.Undoubtedly, under the written Constitution, in which the preamble proclaims India to be a democratic sovereign and socialist republic, there is little space for unreviewable powers, the court said citing the apex court verdict in the S R Bommai.”Our understanding is that the power under Article 356 is, indeed, extra-ordinary. It is to be used as a matter of last resort. It can be used only when the Government cannot be run in accordance with the Constitution. It points to a certain level, where it is quite impossible to run the Government in the manner provided in the Constitution. There must be material. The material must be verified. It is not any material that will suffice,” the court said.It said the material must be relevant for the formation of the satisfaction.”The satisfaction, undoubtedly, is subjective satisfaction. It is the subjective satisfaction not of the President, but of the Cabinet for all legal purposes,” it said.”When mala fide is attributed to the Government, the mala fide is malice in law or legal malice. Attainment of a collateral purpose, though it may appear to be intended to secure a legitimate purpose, is impermissible,” it said.Conceding that there are situations in which Article 356 can be invoked, the court said it cannot exhaustively lay down the situations.”But, one thing is clear that it should be used as a matter of last resort and it should be used with the greatest care. This we say for the reason as we deem it appropriate to deal with another argument of the learned Attorney General, as also Mr. Harish Salve, that what is involved in this case is only a suspension of the Assembly and not the dissolution. We are of the view that, be it suspension or dissolution, the fact is that toppling of a democratically elected Government breeds cynicism in the hearts of the citizens, who had participated in the democratic process. It undermines the foundations of federalism,” the bench said.On the argument that the Governor in this case has not recommended Article 356, the division bench held that the satisfaction under this provision is to be entered by the Central Government. The Felicity of expression of the Governor, or rather, lack of it cannot possibly determine the boundaries of jurisdiction of the competent authority, the court said.”We only say that, in a given case, if the other elements are present, which warrant in the imposition of President’s rule, the merely lack of phraseology used by the Governor, by itself, would not be decisive,” it said.Questioning different aspects in building the ground for imposing President’s rule, the judgement noted the mention in Governor’s report of removal of the advocate general, who is related to one of the dissident Congress MLAs and that Rawat had hit at the rebel Congress men and dismissed a minister.”We are at a total loss, to say the least, to understand how the removal of the advocate general is a material, which is relevant for deciding the issue of imposition of President’s rule under Article 356. The aspect of removal of the ministers who can continue on the confidence on the Chief Minister, is also baffling, to say the least. We do not see what is the nexus it bears to the satisfaction that the government cannot be carried out in accordance with Constitution,” the judgement said.On the matter relating to Speaker disqualifying nine dissident Congress MLAs, the bench said the Government of India could not have taken the disqualification as a relevant material for the decision to impose President’s rule.”In the first place, when the cabinet met on the night of 26/03/2016, the Speaker had not yet taken the decision. Assuming for a moment that they could divine what was coming in the way of nine dissident MLAs, we would think that it is completely irrelevant for the Central Government to wait in this case for deciding to impose the President’s rule. What will happen if they are disqualified and, therefore, what would be the composition of the house on 28/03/2016 when the floor test would take place, surely could not have been the look out of the Central Government. The government, when it takes action under Article 356 is expected to be completely non-partisan. It cannot have any bias. Therefore, we would think that the fate of the nine dissident MLAs was an entirely irrelevant and extraneous matter. This is for the reason that it has got nothing to do with the petitioner (Rawat) as such,” the bench said.The court also came down heavily on the allegation by the Centre’s counsel regarding a dissident BJP MLA was a “mistake of fact”.”This means that, what was hotly contested before us by the Attorney General on the basis of there being laxity on the part of the Speaker reflecting double standards and also opening the doors to action under Article 356, was without any basis at all. There was, in other words, no material. We are, in fact, shocked that the decision taken at the highest level and the matter, which apparently, influenced the decision, and which engaged the counsel and the court in this litigation, has been done without due care and without any basis. It was totally without any factual foundation. It was in fact a blatant falsehood,” it said.

Uttarakhand crisis: BJP claims support of more than 9 rebel Congress MLAs

Amid a bitter judicial row over imposition of President’s rule in Uttarakhand, a top BJP leader on Monday hinted at the party enjoying support of more Congress MLAs than the nine disqualified rebels. He also asserted that though only the nine rebels have gone public about their support to BJP, “more” Congress MLAs may switch sides in the event of a floor test.BJP is keeping its cards close to chest as the Supreme Court is currently hearing the case on imposition of central rule in the state, while the plea of nine MLAs against their disqualification is pending before the state High Court.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”We got only as many (Congress) MLAs to support us openly as we needed for a simple majority. There could be more support for us. BJP has the support of a majority of MLAs even if these nine MLAs remain disqualified,” the leader, who declined to be named, said.In the 71-member assembly, both Congress and BJP have 27 MLAs each, barring the nine Congress rebels and one BJP rebel. There is also a block of six MLAs, including three independents, who had been supporting the Harish Rawat government when it was dismissed. BJP believes that some of them could be worked on to change sides.The BJP leader also dismissed the Congress’ charge that it was engineering defection in its ranks to topple its state governments as seen in Arunachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand.”Keeping its flock together is the responsibility of Congress not BJP. If there is a rebellion in our party say in Madhya Pradesh or Gujarat, then it will be our fault not Congress’,” he said.There are also strong sentiments in the BJP against several observations made by the state High Court, which had restored the Rawat government and castigated the Centre over the imposition of President’s Rule. Among the court’s observations criticised by him were that the rebels have committed a “sin” and that a “pro- development government” was brought down.

Uttarakhand crisis: High Court to resume hearing on rebel Congress MLAs’ petition today

The Uttarakhand High Court will on Monday resume the hearing on nine rebel Congress MLAs’ petition challenging their disqualification by state Assembly Speaker Govind Singh Kunjwal.The nine legislators will present their contention before the single bench of Justice UC Dhyani.The bench had on Saturday recorded the arguments of counsel Kapil Sibal appearing for the Speaker.Eight of the nine rebel Congress legislators have moved the High Court on two grounds that they were not given enough time by the Speaker to respond to the charges, and that they were not provided ‘proof’ of their alleged anti-party activities.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The conflict between the Congress and their legislators arose during a debate last month over the state budget.The Speaker had on March 27 disqualified the nine Congress MLAs, including former chief minister Vijay Bahuguna, who spearheaded the rebellion against former chief minister Harish Rawat, under the anti defection law.In the number game, Congress will have the upper hand if the court upholds the Speaker’s move to disqualify the MLAs.In the 70-member assembly, the Congress has 27 members excluding the nine legislators.The reported decision to disqualify the nine legislators from the Congress Party, who have revolted against Harish Rawat and joined hands with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), would reduce the effective strength of the 70-member assembly to 61.

Uttarakhand HC to resume hearing on rebel Congress MLAs’ petition tomorrow

The Uttarakhand Assembly Speaker had on March 27 disqualified the nine, including former chief minister Vijay Bahuguna, who spearheaded the rebellion against Chief Minister Harish Rawat. The Uttarakhand High Court will on Monday resume the hearing on nine rebel Congress MLAs’ petition challenging their disqualification by the state Assembly Speaker.The nine legislators will present their contention before the single bench of Justice U C Dhyani, which had on Saturday recorded the arguments of counsel Kapil Sibal appearing for Speaker Govind Singh Kunjwal.The Speaker had on March 27 disqualified the nine, including former chief minister Vijay Bahuguna, who spearheaded the rebellion against Chief Minister Harish Rawat, under the anti-defection law. This had led to a political instability in the state and imposition of President’s rule.

The woman who braved Himalayan floods to rescue hundreds

Mamta Rawat lost her own house in the 2013 Uttarakhand floods that killed 5,000 people but continued her rescue efforts and saved hundreds of lives.

Uttarkhand crisis: All you need to know about SC staying High Court’s verdict

The Supreme Court stayed till April 27 the judgement of the Uttarakhand High Court quashing the imposition of President’s rule, giving a new turn to the continuing political drama in the state by restoring the Central rule there. Before passing a brief order, a bench comprising Justices Dipak Misra and Shiva Kirti Singh recorded an undertaking given by Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi that the “Union of India shall not revoke the Presidential proclamation till the next date of hearing”.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The apex court clarified that it was keeping in abeyance the judgement of the High Court till the next date of hearing on April 27 as a measure of balance for both the parties as the copy of the verdict was not made available to the parties. The High Court judgement had also directed Rawat to prove his majority in the Assembly on April 29.While listing the matter for hearing on April 27, the bench said that the High Court shall provide the judgement passed yesterday to the parties by April 26 and on the same date the copy of the verdict shall also be placed before the apex court.
ALSO READ We will follow SC’s judgement with due respect: Harish RawatThe Supreme Court’s stay has the effect of undoing the revival of the Congress government led by Harish Rawat by the High Court judgement yesterday.During the hearing, the bench also observed that as a matter of propriety the High Court should have signed the verdict so that it would be appropriate for it to go into the appeal.
ALSO READ Uttarakhand crisis: Centre should allow state governments to function, says CM Harish RawatThe apex court issued notice to Harish Rawat and Chief Secretary of the state on the petition by Centre challenging the quashing of Presidential proclamation under Article 356 of the Constitution in the state.Appearing for the Centre, Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, along with senior advocate Harish Salve, pressed for the stay of the HC judgement.
ALSO READ Supreme Court stays Uttarakhand HC order of lifting President’s RuleHow can one party have the advantage? He said how one party can be put at advantage and assume the office of Chief Minister when the other party is pushed to disadvantage in the absence of the judgement.Senior advocates Abhishek Manu Singhvi and Kapil Sibal, appearing for Rawat and the Assembly Speaker, argued hard against the passing of any interim order saying “you are allowing the appeal by giving the stay”.Sibal was of the view that allowing stay of operation of the High Court verdict would be like enforcing the proclamation of the President rule.During the jam-packed hearing, the bench sought to pacify both the parties saying that it has to take a balanced view as this is a Constitutional court.”We will take on record the copy of the judgement and go through it. This matter may go to Constitution bench,” the bench said.How can Rawat assume office? – AG The high-voltage hearing at 3.30 pm started with the Attorney General attacking Rawat assuming the office as Chief Minister and chairing a cabinet meeting when the copy of the judgement passed yesterday was not made available to parties.”How can the judgement be implemented unless you have the copy of it. It can’t deny a party to file an appeal. I see on TV that the respondent (Rawat) says he has been resurrected as the Chief Minister and late in the night calls for cabinet meeting. How can you say that the government has been resurrected?”In the absence of the copy of the judgement the other party cannot go to appeal. The idea is not that you steal a march,” Rohatgi said while seeking a stay of the high court judgement quashing the imposition of President’s rule in Uttarakhand and restoring the dismissed Congress government.When the bench asked the Attorney General as to when the hearing on the appeal can take place, he said the judgement has to be signed as a signed judgement cannot be altered. “Today we find that in the absence of the signed judgement, somebody is acting in his office which is not appropriate.””If the judgement is subject to appeal, it cannot be allowed to be implemented. It cannot be subjected to the advantage of some and disadvantage of others,” he submitted assailing the quashing of the March 27 notification on proclamation of President’s rule and the granting of status quo ante by the High Court. He said the Presidential proclamation was based on the Union Cabinet’s note which has considered the apex court’s S R Bommai judgement which has dealt in great length with the issue of Article 356 and the floor test.Rohatgi referred to the March 18 incident when during the presentation and passing of the Appropriation Bill, the Rawat government was reduced to minority with nine Congress MLAs turning rebel and joining hands with 27 BJP MLAs in demanding vote by division which was not allowed by the Speaker and those 35 MLAs complained to the Governor.”Something was brewing,” he said, adding that “if the voting by division was allowed to have taken place, the Rawat government would have fallen on March 18 itself. So, if the money bill falls, the government would have fallen and the majority government would have become minority.””The Speaker was acting in one way,” the AG said, adding that the Speaker had declared the Appropriation Bill passed with a single sentence in Hindi – ‘Bill paarit’. When the bench asked about the communication of Governor to the President, he said, the Governor wrote a series of letters but he did not recommend President’s rule as it was not necessary under the Constitution.He referred to the sting operation aired on March 25 on TV allegedly showing the then Chief Minister clearly talking to some person named Sharma.The discussions were going on for five to seven minutes which was the money talk going on and the then CM was speaking about Rs five crore, Rs 10 crore, Rs 20 crore etc, he contended.Rohatgi said CM was allegedly seen saying he was unable to provide so much of funds. “It is nothing but horse trading,” he said adding that even the Governor says that prima facie it is going on but calls for verification which was actually verified after the file went to the President. “You have to examine the relevant materials and not the adequacy or the sufficiency of the material. Today, all these things are being taken into account,” he said and further elaborated how the Appropriation Bill was in the middle which should have reached the Governor on March 19 but the Speaker kept it with himself and was aware of the fact that it was not passed.He also criticised the High Court verdict which said that the nine rebel Congress MLAs have committed a constitutional sin without being party to the hearing.He said remarkes against them were made when their plea against the disqualification was pending before the single judge bench.”The judgement is coloured by these remarks,” he said and tried to drive the point that “a fallen government has been resurrected by the act of the Speaker.”Rohatgi said March 18 was actually the day of floor test when the money bill was introduced in the house and the 35 MLAs were against it.The AG was joined by senior advocate Harish Salve, appearing for the Centre, and another senior counsel C A Sundaram, representing the nine rebel MLAs, who submitted that there was material showing that there was some troublesome event on March 18While Sundaram said the High Court ignored the plea of the rebel MLAs challenging their disqualification, Salve said dismissing a government without floor test is an issue to be looked into by the Governor and not the President.”If President takes a view that there is trouble on ground how do you say that this is abuse of power? Should not an institution come into action in such a situation?” said Salve.The AG asked the apex court to stay the effect and implementation of the operation of the High Court judgement and also sought a direction to the HC to supply the copy of the verdict.During the hearing, the bench said, “We make it clear what happens inside the Assembly, we would not go into it. We have to examine the grounds on which the Presidential proclamation was made. Whether it was right or not and based on the Bommai judgement.””The whole issue is the interference by this court in exercise of judicial review pertaining to the justiciability of proclamation by the President is a serious matter. It has to be debated. Till it is debated, what arrangement can be made,” the bench said.Further, the bench told Sibal that since he was representing the Speaker, he has to speak by maintaining neutrality.Singhvi, appearing for Rawat, said the challenge to the imposition of President’s rule succeeded on the grounds that included it was against the tenets of the Bommai and Rameshwar Prasad Chaurasiya judgement.While he was making the submission, the bench said, “Nobody has seen the judgement which was pronounced yesterday.Do you have a copy of the judgement?”Singhvi said the judgement was pronounced in the open court and the pronouncement was by giving reasons and once the judgement is pronounced, it becomes a law.However, the bench said it wanted to know the contents of the judgement.”The issue is what possible interim arrangement can be made till we get the copy of the judgement,” the bench said even as Singhvi continued to counter the submission made by the Centre making the Speaker responsible for the March 18 incident.Singhvi said Speaker is the master of the house and even if the 27 BJP MLAs wanted vote by division he had the right to say no. The fact that the nine rebel MLAs joined them clearly shows that “horse trading” was going on before the floor test.At this point, the AG interrupted him and said “Does he (Rawat) deny he was not on TV speaking of money?” Singhvi, who was opposing Centre’s plea for stay of the High Court verdict, said “Between now and April 29 (the day of floor test) nothing is going to happen.”He said how can in the interim the CM, who has been restored by the High Court, not function. The AG said it is for the Governor to function.Singhvi said that the BJP government at the Centre wants its man to be the Chief Minister. However, the bench said, “there has to be a balance between both the sides.”It said it was slightly concerned about Article 356 which is a serious matter. “We are not going to comment on the merits of the verdict. What is happening is a serious and grievous matter for any state,” the bench said, adding “You don’t revoke President’s rule just like that. You should have called for files.”Singhvi said files were examined by the High Court. However, the bench interrupted him by saying “try to understand. Suppose horse trading is going on, does it not create a dent in democracy?”Sibal said does nine members of the Congress becoming rebels not amount to horse trading. The bench said that is horse trading.Sibal said since the High Court refused to stay the disqualification of the nine rebel MLAs, the President’s rule was imposed. “They (Centre) wanted to have a BJP government.

Uttarakhand HC’s order full of loopholes: Vijay Bahuguna

Asserting that there were loopholes in the Uttarakhand High Court verdict quashing President’s rule in the state, former chief minister and rebel Congress leader Vijay Bahuguna on Friday expressed hope that the Supreme Court would review the previous order and clear all confusions.Bahuguna told ANI that the apex court’s verdict is paramount, adding it will be out in the open soon that the High Court’s decision against the President’s rule was unfair.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The Union of India has approached the Supreme Court against the High Court’s order. The Supreme Court will review the High Court’s order as the High Court’s verdict is not the final verdict. There are a lot of loopholes in the High Court’s decision. And I am sure the Supreme Court’s verdict will clear all the confusions. The decision to impose President’s rule in the state was correct,” he said.Bahuguna also used the occasion to criticise Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat. “Harish Rawat has resumed his services as Uttarakhand Chief Minister at a time when he has not even received a signed copy of the High Court’s verdict. The Governor has also objected this initiative,” he said.The High Court on Thursday set aside the Centre’s rule imposed last month, saying Article 356 was imposed in the state contrary to the law laid down by Supreme Court. The High Court accused the Centre of acting in blatant falsehood and behaving like a private party. The High Court asked Rawat to prove his government’s majority on the floor of the assembly on the April 29.

Supreme Court stays Uttarakhand HC order of lifting President’s Rule

The Supreme Court on Friday stayed till April 27 the judgement of the Uttarakhand High Court quashing the imposition of President’s rule, giving a new turn to the continuing political drama in the state by restoring the Central rule in Uttarakhand.Before passing a brief order, a bench comprising Justices Dipak Misra and Shiva Kirti Singh recorded an undertaking given by Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi that the “Union of India shall not revoke the Presidential proclamation till the next date of hearing”.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The apex court clarified that it was keeping in abeyance the judgement of the High Court till the next date of hearing on April 27 as a measure of balance for both the parties as the copy of the verdict was not made available to the parties.While listing the matter for hearing on April 27, the bench said that the High Court shall provide the judgement passed on Thursday to the parties by April 26 and on the same date the copy of the verdict shall also be placed before the apex court.Update: 17:30 IST Friday, 22 April 2016Harish Rawat speaks about SC judgement 17:23 IST Friday, 22 April 2016A bench of Justices Dipak Misra and S.K. Singh earlier in the day heard Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, who mentioned the matter and sought an urgent hearing and stay of the High Court?s verdict. The High Court on Thursday set aside the Centre’s rule imposed last month, saying Article 356 was imposed in the state contrary to the law laid down by Supreme Court.The High Court accused the Centre of acting in blatant falsehood and behaving like a private party. The High Court asked Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat to prove his government’s majority on the floor of the assembly on the April 29.State BJP chief spokesperson Munna Singh Chauhan said he did not see the high court judgement as a jolt to the party. He described the verdict as “lopsided” which, he said, overlooked, serious aspects of the case, including all that happened inside the Uttarakhand Assembly on March 18.”The entire case revolves around illegal transaction of business in the state Assembly on March 18 by the Speaker who denied a division of votes on the Appropriation Bill adopting a partisan approach. This aspect seems to have been lost sight of completely in the judgement,” ChauhanNaidu speakImposition of President’s rule in Uttarakhand is a temporary measure and the Assembly can be revived on the basis of the Governor’s report, Union minister M Venkaiah Naidu today said, a day after the high court quashed imposition of central rule in the state.He said the central government is very clear that there was a constitutional breakdown in Uttarakhand because the Appropriation Bill was not passed in the Assembly.”We feel there was no other way than (use of Article) 356 (of the Constitution). The Assembly was not dissolved. Because there was a constitutional breakdown, temporarily President’s rule was imposed and anytime the Assembly can be revived.”That is up to the Governor’s report and also the situation there. As far as we are concerned, we always respect the rule of law. We respect the Constitution,” Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Naidu said.His comments came a day after the Uttarakhand High Court quashed the proclamation of President’s rule in the state and revived the Congress government headed by Harish Rawat, who has been asked to prove his majority in the Assembly on April 29.Naidu said that on the one hand the then government said the Appropriation Bill was passed through a voice vote and on the other, the Speaker disqualified some MLAs saying they opposed the government.”How can these two things go together? There is a confusion and contradiction which has to be cleared,” he said.

Uttarakhand crisis: Don’t disturb ‘federal structure’: Rawat warns Centre

Hailing the High Court’s verdict ordering restoration of his government in Uttarakhand, Chief Minister Harish Rawat on Friday 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.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”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.
ALSO READ Uttarakhand crisis: Centre moves SC against HC verdict; BJP pins blame on Congress’ ‘internal strife'”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.Earlier, the BJP blamed the ‘internal strife’ within the Congress Party for the political crisis in Uttarakhand.
ALSO READ Uttarakhand crisis: Rahul Gandhi flays PM Modi, says ‘democracy wins'”This is the same Congress, which has hit a century in toppling the governments, whether it is Indira ji or Rajiv ji or Nehru ji. Sonia ji had done similar things during Arunachal crisis, look what happened, they failed,” BJP leader Shrikant Sharma told ANI.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.
ALSO READ Uttarakhand crisis: Harish Rawat govt is still in minority, claims BJPAttorney General Mukul Rohatgi said yesterday that he would 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 the April 29.

Uttarakhand crisis: After HC’s ruling, Subramanian Swamy demands appointment of new AG, SG

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Subramanian Swamy on Thursday alleged that the Centre lost the case in the Uttarakhand High Court because of poor argumentation of the Attorney General and the Solicitor General, demanding that new appointments should be made for the two posts.”We must appeal against this in the Supreme Court because this is a judgement that has far reaching implications,” Swamy told ANI.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”But more importantly I felt, after reading the arguments, that the Attorney General and the Solicitor General did not present the arguments forcefully. I think we lost because of poor argumentation and not because we had a poor case. I think a new Attorney General and a Solicitor General should be appointed,” he added.The Uttarakhand High Court earlier on Thursday quashed the President’s Rule in the state and ordered floor test in the assembly on April 29. Harish Rawat’s lawyer K.C Kaushik said the High Court has restored the former chief minister’s position as on March 27 when the President’s Rule was imposed.The High Court had observed that it would be a travesty of justice if the Centre revokes its order imposing President’s Rule in the state, and allows someone else to form a government before it gives the verdict. The court’s comments came after the Centre’s counsel said it was not in a position to give an assurance that the government would consider putting on hold the recall of its order imposing President’s Rule for a week.

Hopefully Centre will not provoke us: Uttarakhand High Court

In further discomfiture to the Centre, the Uttarakhand High Court on Wednesday made a veiled warning to it, hoping it will not “provoke” the Court by revoking the Central rule in the state now and making clear the decision is open to judicial review as even the President can go wrong.”There is no king or absolutism. Howsoever high you are, the law is above you. Legitimacy of relevant inference drawn from the material that is placed before President is open to judicial review,” a bench of Chief Justice K M Joseph and Justice V K Bist said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”We hope they will not provoke us” till a verdict is delivered on the petition challenging its imposition, the bench said during the hearing on the petition challenging the imposition of President’s rule in the state The bench made the observations after senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi raised the apprehension that President’s Rule might be revoked before verdict is pronounced or even reserved.Singhvi, who appeared for former Chief Minister Harish Rawat in his plea challenging President’s Rule, expressed the fear after the Centre said that the Attorney General’s statement of April 7, that nothing with regard to 356 will be done till April 17, has “expired”.Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Tushar Mehta did not confirm whether any decision with regard to revocation of President’s Rule has been taken by the Centre. Singhvi said President Rule should not be lifted before judgement is reserved or pronounced and the “opposition” should not be invited to form a government as this would render the plea infructuous. He also said that the Centre cannot resort to such tactics to force the court to deliver a verdict quickly.Referring to the NDA government’s argument that the President took the decision to impose Article 356 of the Constitution in his “political wisdom”, the bench observed, “People can go wrong, be it the President or the judges.” This observation was made after the Centre contended that the President’s understanding of the material before him would be different from that of the court.Uttarakhand High Court takes on CentreThe Government’s contention came after the bench said that from the reports sent by the Governor to the President, regarding the situation in the state, “what we have understood is that everything was processing towards a floor test on March 28.” The high court, during the hearing, also noted that the Governor in his reports to the President never mentioned that 35 MLAs sought division of votes.”Governor has to be personally satisfied. He has not recorded his personal satisfaction that 35 MLAs had sought division on the floor of the house,” the court said and added that his reports do not say that the nine rebel Congress MLAs had also sought a division. It also said that there was “absolute absence of material that would create an apprehension in the mind of the Governor” that President’s rule needs to be imposed.”So how did Government of India arrive at the satisfaction that 35 stood up? From Governor’s reports?” the court asked.”Governor’s letter of March 19 to the President does not mention that 35 MLAs had sought division of votes. That is conspicuous by its absence. It is absolutely crucial,” the bench said. To this the Centre said that on March 19 the Governor did not have all the details.You are making terrible allegations against Speaker: HCThe court also took a “serious view” of the fact that though the Centre had alleged that the Speaker of the house had kept the disqualification complaint against BJP MLA Bhim Lal Arya pending in reality the complaint against him was filed only after President’s Rule was imposed.”Why was the complaint filed on April 5 after President’s Rule was imposed? We were thinking about why the Speaker has double standards (that he disqualified the nine rebel Congress MLAs but kept the complaint against Arya pending). This is terrible. You are making such terrible allegations (against Speaker). Is this how Government of India functions? What do you (Centre) have to say about this? This is not to be taken lightly as that (Speaker’s conduct regarding disqualification) was also the basis of President’s satisfaction. We are taking a serious note of this,” the bench said.Mehta said he would need to take instructions on it and would tell the court tomorrow after which the bench listed the matter tomorrow for this clarification. The bench is also likely to reserve its verdict on Rawat’s plea against President’s Rule on Thursday.HC questions Harish Rawat’s involvement in horse-tradingDuring the second half of the day’s proceedings, the court also directed a query to the petitioner, Rawat, that looking at his conduct “why the discretion (of Article 356) should not be exercised”.”Looking at your (petitioner) conduct, why discretion (of imposing 356) should not be exercised?”The court was referring to the sting operation which allegedly pointed to Rawat’s involvement in horse-trading. To this Rawat’s counsel, Singhvi, said that the sting was an “alleged solitary example” which “bordered on entrapment”.During the hearing, the court asked Singhvi what would happen to the Centre’s March 30 ordinance regarding expenditure of the state if Rawat’s plea is allowed.Singhvi said the ordinance would remain in force till the petition challenging it is decided. He also said that even if the ordinance is struck down by the court the actions taken under it will remain.Article 356 questionedPresenting his final arguments, Singhvi said Article 356 cannot be the “panacea” for horse-trading as then what would be the use of the “long judgements” by the Supreme Court holding that “floor test is essential”. He also argued “there is nothing” like the Centre’s “concept of auto-falling of a government if money bill fails”.The senior counsel said failing of money Bill would only be a “trigger” and a motion of no-confidence would have to be moved to remove the government. He said that none of the Governor’s reports toPresident recommended imposing of Article 356 or said that the constitutional machinery had failed in the state “but Central government relies on these reports and imposes President’s rule”. Singh raised the question whether a solitary instance of a Speaker denying a division would be sufficient to impose President’s rule. He queried “what was the unearthly hurry” in imposing President’s Rule on March 26 and questioned why the Centre could not wait till the floor test was held on March 28.Singhvi wanted to know how imposing Article 356 would be controlled “in each case where a sting bordering on entrapment takes place” and “in each case where Speaker has not followed rules”. He contended that Article 356 was imposed in a “casual manner” in the instant case.

Political war follows death of Shaktiman, Uttarakhand police horse attacked in a BJP rally

Shaktiman, the Uttarakhand police horse which was attacked in a BJP rally in Dehradun, passed away at 5.30 pm on Wednesday, reports say. Allegedly attacked by BJP legislator Ganesh Joshi, Shaktiman’s leg had to be amputated to prevent the gangrene in his body from spreading.

Ganesh Joshi who was accused of attacking Shaktiman at the rally, was arrested after a nation-wide outrage over the incident. The BJP MLA is out on bail.

“Shaktiman was injured on March 14 after which we had to operate on him. He was later fitted with an artificial leg. But he was unable to fully recover from an infection,” SSP Dehradun Sadanand Date said.

“Though the artificial limb was put on Shaktiman, it was not working well and he was putting his entire weight on the other leg. That is why the infection spread. Today also a lot of care was taken and about eight doctors attended to the horse. It is sad that we could not save him,” R S Meena, IG Law and Order, Uttarakhand, said.

Shaktiman was a well trained horse and part of Uttarakhand Mounted Police for years.

“The horse passed away at 5.30 PM. He was suffering from medical-related complications. The exact cause will be known only after post mortem,” IG Garhwal Sanjay Gunjyal said.

Police horse Shaktiman whose leg had to be amputated after he was beaten up at a BJP rally, passed away on Wednesday. PTIPolice horse Shaktiman whose leg had to be amputated after he was beaten up at a BJP rally, passed away on Wednesday. PTI

Police horse Shaktiman whose leg had to be amputated after he was beaten up at a BJP rally, passed away on Wednesday. PTI

Speaking to reporters, BJP State President Ajay Bhatt said, “When Shaktiman was operated, he was made to stand continuously. He did not get adequate rest.”

“Ganesh Joshi was actually hitting the ground, you cannot pin him for Shakitman’s death,” Bhatt added.

Speaking to CNN News 18, Nikunj Sharma from Peta, said  “I would say its a black day in animal rights. He beat the horse, his leg was amputated and now he’s dead. The law has to be strengthened in a way that anyone who injures or kills an animal deserves stringent punishment. We call for a strong law today”

Many had argued that Shaktiman should be euthanised because of the pain and discomfort as he struggled to get used to his prosthetic leg.

Expressing shock over the demise of the horse, former Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat said,”It was a brave soldier of Uttarakhand and died while performing its duty.”

Rawat said at one stage in recent weeks it appeared that the horse was getting well and trying to stand.

BJP’s Shaina NC said this was not an issue to be politicised. “It is the loss of life of an animal,” she said, adding animal lovers across the country feel that a wrong has been done. “I think we all need to own this up at our own end,” she said.

Animal rights activist Gauri Maulekhi said, “Shaktiman died the same day when it was attacked and its leg broken. Horses with such weight have very little chance to live on three legs. We were mentally prepared for this but political parties are playing blame games.”

According to a report in NDTV13-year-old Shaktiman was not responding to the prosthetic leg that Jamie Vaughan, who runs an NGO for veterinary care in Bhutan, brought from the US. The report further added that Shaktiman spent the last few days under the care of a group of policemen in Dehradun.

The officials taking care of the horse said that Shaktiman had stopped eating after the operation. A team of ten doctors had carried out the surgery on Shaktiman, said a report in The Hindu.

When intercepted by police near Rispana bridge on way to the state assembly during a protest march yesterday, BJP workers tried to jump over the barricades prompting security personnel, including the mounted police, to swing into action to control the protesters.

This enraged Joshi who allegedly began hitting a 13-year-old police horse named Shaktiman with a stick, causing fracture in one of its hind legs.

Neha Joshi, the BJP MLA’s daughter, claimed many television channels have proved that her father did not harm the horse in any manner. “He has regretted the incident involving the mob,” she said.

After news about the horse being injured during protests by BJP spread, Chief Minister Harish Rawat visited the stable located at the police lines where it has been kept for treatment.

“Political workers must learn the value of restraint and tolerance. It seems the word tolerance does not exist in BJP’s dictionary,” Rawat had said.

With inputs from PTI

Shaktimaan’s death: If found guilty, then cut my leg, says BJP MLA Ganesh Joshi

Police horse Shaktiman, which suffered multiple fractures on its hind leg during a BJP protest in Dehradun last month triggering widespread outrage, died on Wednesday.”Shaktiman was injured on March 14 after which we had to operate on him. He was later fitted with an artificial leg. But he was unable to fully recover from an infection,” SSP Dehradun Sadanand Date said.The 13-year-old was given a prosthetic leg and was confined to the police lines. It was a well trained horse and part of Uttarakhand Mounted Police for years.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The horse passed away at 5.30 PM. He was suffering from medical-related complications. The exact cause will be known only after post-mortem,” IG Garhwal Sanjay Gunjyal said.If found guilty, then cut my leg: Ganesh JoshiBJP MLA Ganesh Joshi, accused of assaulting Shaktiman , was arrested after national outrage over the incident.Expressing condolences over the demise of Shaktimaan, Ganesh Joshi said, “Very sad. I already said that I am not at fault, if found guilty then cut my leg.”Expressing shock over the demise of the horse, former Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat said, “It was a brave soldier of Uttarakhand and died while performing its duty.”The horse had lost its leg after it was brutally beaten during clashes between BJP protesters and the police on March 14.”Though the artificial limb was put on Shaktiman, it was not working well and he was putting his entire weight on the another leg. That is why the infection spread. Today also a lot of care was taken and about eight doctors attended to the horse. It is sad that we could not save him,” R S Meena, IG Law and Order, Uttarakhand, said.Activists express condolencesAcross the country, people have stood by Shaktiman and have demanded that action be taken against the BJP MLA. Many had argued that Shaktiman should be euthanised because of the pain and discomfort as he struggled to get used to his prosthetic leg. Rawat said at one stage in recent weeks it appeared that the horse was getting well and trying to stand.BJP’s Shaina NC said this was not an issue to be politicised. “It is the loss of life of an animal,” she said, adding animal lovers across the country feel that a wrong has been done. “I think we all need to own this up at our own end,” she said.Animal rights activist Gauri Maulekhi said, “Shaktiman died the same day when it was attacked and its leg broken. Horses with such weight have very little chance to live on three legs. We were mentally prepared for this but political parties are playing blame games.”Neha Joshi, the BJP MLA’s daughter, claimed many television channels have proved that her father did not harm the horse in any manner. “He has regretted the incident involving the mob,” she said. The BJP MLA is out on bail.

Uttarakhand crisis: You are cutting at root of democracy, HC tells Centre

The Nainital high court on Monday cautioned the Union government for treading on a dangerous path by imposing President’s rule in Uttarakhand.In scathing remarks, the double judge bench of Nainital high court led by chief justice K M Jospeh observed, “This colours our mind. Can you remove a government based on a solitary incident and the government, which is in its fifth year? Root of the matter is you are cutting at root of democracy. Interference in the affairs of states is not to be seen lightly, emergency power should be used in extraordinary cases.”<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The court reminded the Union government that the “Governor is not an agent of the Centre” and the “interference in the state’s affairs is not be seen lightly”. The court asked, if it was not “totally extraneous” for the Union government to be concerned over disqualification of nine rebel MLAs and ‘interfere’ in the affairs of the state which is done only in “extraordinary instances”? The court’s observation came while hearing former chief minister Harish Rawat’s petition challenging President’s rule in Uttarakhand imposed in controversial circumstances last month.The high court may give a decision after summing up of Centre’s arguments by attorney general Mukul Rohtagi on Tuesday.The Central government had imposed President’s Rule in Uttarakhand on March 27, a day before governor had asked the chief minister to prove his majority in the state Assembly.The court also said, “Can the Centre topple a democratically elected government in its fifth year? It is the Governor who must call the shots. He is not an agent of the Centre. He had taken a call to ask for a floor test.”Defending its decision, Centre filed an affidavit in court claiming that the constitutional machinery had broken down in the state.The central government has submitted eight reports to the court including Governor KK Paul’s report to the President. Rohtagi argued that the state budget was never passed in the assembly and Speaker Govind Kunjwal had “misused his powers” by declaring a failed finance bill passed and did not allow voting on the bill despite members asking for it.To this the court asked, “What is passing through our mind is, is it the lookout of the Central government as to what would have happened on March 28 (date given for the floor test) in view of the changed composition and in view of the nine ousted MLAs?”“Will it not be totally extraneous for Central government, which is ruled by another political party, to be concerned by changed composition?” the bench asked Rohatgi.To this Rohatgi contended that the Speaker’s decision of not allowing 35 MLAs to vote on their demand for division on introduction of money bill amounted to “destroying democracy” as the 35 constituted the majority view.He also alleged that state CM Harish Rawat and the Speaker were “in cahoots” to scuttle the demand for division and there has been “twisting of facts to show division occurred after passage of Bill.”

SC dismisses PIL questioning president’s rule in Uttarakhand

The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) that sought to challenge the continuance of President’s Rule in Uttarakhand.The PIL, filed by advocate ML Sharma, sought a CBI probe into the alleged horse trading of MLAs in the state before the dismal of the Congress government led by then chief minister Harish Rawat.Dismissing the plea, Chief Justice T.S Thakur questioned the locus standi of Sharma.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The apex court bench also asked Sharma as to how he was affected by President’s Rule in Uttarakhand and warned him that his credibility is at stake if he continues to file such types of PILs.Seeking the quashing of the presidential proclamation, Sharma had questioned how the council of ministers could recommend the imposition of president’s rule when the state’s Governor, K.K. Paul, had already directed then chief minister Harish Rawat to go for a floor test on March 28.The crisis in the hill state erupted on March 18 when nine Congress MLAs rebelled against the Rawat government, resulting in a flip-flop in the passage of the Appropriation Bill.The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) met Governor K.K. Paul on the same day and staked claim to form the government.However, the Centre imposed President’s Rule a day before Rawat was supposed to take the floor test in the assembly.

Uttarakhand crisis: Harish Rawat urges Guv to allow him ahead of BJP to stake claim in forming govt

Amid reports of BJP exploring possibilities of forming government in Uttarakhand, deposed chief minister Harish Rawat has urged Governor KK Paul to allow him to stake claim to do the same ahead of the saffron party if the President’s Rule ends in the hill state.In a memorandum submitted to the Governor through former ministers Pritam Singh and Dinesh Aggarwal last night, Rawat has made a reference to media reports suggesting that BJP is exploring possibilities to form government in the state.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Expressing apprehension that the BJP-led government at the Centre may lift the President’s Rule to “usurp power” in Uttarakhand, Rawat said as he has the required number, he should be invited first by the Governor to stake a claim and not BJP if the prospect of forming a government emerges. “The media reports have created doubts in the mind of the undersigned (Rawat) that by lifting the President’s Rule and offering BJP an opportunity to form government in Uttarakhand, the Centre may again commit a fraud on the Constitution,” Rawat said in the memorandum.Claiming that he was leader of the largest political party in the state Assembly, Rawat said inviting BJP to form government ahead of him will also tantamount to a “violation” of the Supreme Court’s ruling in the SR Bommai versus Union of India case. Rawat also reminded the Governor that a petition challenging imposition of the President’s Rule was also currently being heard in the Uttarakhand High Court in Nainital. As his government was dismissed just a day before he was scheduled to face a floor test in the Assembly, it was he who deserved the first chance to prove a majority in the House and form a government, the former chief minister said in the memorandum also signed by him.”I want to say that I have the required majority and I must be given a chance to prove it in the Assembly. I am always ready and willing for this,” he said in the memorandum which also carried the signatures of former ministers Indira Haridayesh, Pritam Singh and Dinesh Agarwal besides of Congress MLA Mamata Rakesh. Uttarakhand was plunged into a political crisis after nine Congress MLAs sided with BJP inside the Assembly over a demand for division of votes on the appropriation bill on March 18 eventually leading to imposition of President’s Rule in the state on March 27.

BJP ‘desperate’ to form govt. in Uttarakhand: Harish Rawat

Former Uttarakhand chief minister Harish Rawat on Wednesday dubbed the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) as desperate and said that the saffron party wanted to form the government since March 18. Rawat held the BJP responsible for the ongoing political crisis in the nation. “The BJP is desperate to form the government in Uttarakhand ever since 18th of March and which is why they just want to siphon support of the MLAs. All this political crisis has been brewed by the BJP,” said Rawat.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Responding to a poser about the Congress’ future course of action, Rawat said he expects that the High Court would do justice as the matter is pending before the same. The Nainital High Court on Wednesday declined the Centre’s plea seeking more time to argue Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat’s plea against the President’s rule in the state. However, the court assured the Centre that no orders would be passed today without hearing the Attorney General of India Mukul Rohatgi.The Centre also sought an adjournment in this affidavit so that they can study it and formulate their response. The Congress Party had on Friday filed a petition before the Uttarakhand High Court challenging the Centre’s appropriation ordinance for the state.

Uttarakhand crisis: HC rejects Centre’s plea to adjourn petition on President’s rule

The Uttarakhand High Court on Wednesday rejected Centre’s submission for deferring the hearing on former Chief Minister Harish Rawat’s plea challenging the imposition of President’s rule in the state.A bench comprising Chief Justice K M Joseph and Justice V K Bisht did not allow the plea of two Additional Solicitors General (ASG), representing the Centre, that the hearing be adjourned as a “completely new case” has been set up by Rawat.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>ASGs Tushar Mehta and Maninder Singh sought adjournment on the ground that issue of alleged passage of appropriation bill by the state assembly brings in completely new facts and needed to be responded to as they deal with the root of the case.”We are not going to adjourn it. If you want to file a response then file it during the day or by tomorrow,” the bench said and assured the law officers that it would not deal with the issue till Centre files its response.The bench, however, made clear that it will go ahead with the hearing of the case.Senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appearing for the ousted Chief Minister, opposed the Centre’s bid to get the matter adjourned on the ground of filing its response on the issue of appropriation bill.The appropriation bill is a consolidated legislation on the state’s annual budget which was declared passed by the state Assembly. A two-judge of the Nainital bench of the High Court had on Wednesday stayed the floor test for the Harish Rawat Government in the Uttarakhand Assembly, which was scheduled for March 31 and decided to take up the matter on April 6.The crisis in the hill state erupted on March 18 when nine Congress MLAs rebelled against the Rawat government, resulting in a flip-flop in the passage of the Appropriation Bill.The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) met Governor K.K. Paul on the same day and staked claim to form the government.However, the Centre imposed President’s Rule last Sunday, a day before Rawat was supposed to take the floor test in the assembly.

BJP luring Congress MLAs with money power, alleges Harish Rawat

Deposed Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat on Monday accused BJP’s central leadership of luring Congress MLAs with its money power and asked people interested in the welfare of the state to come forward to “save democracy”.”The BJP’s central as well as state leadership is roaming on the streets and villages of Uttarakhand with loads of money in search of Congress MLAs to lure them over. It is a matter of great concern that several BJP national vice presidents and general secretaries are busy doing this in Uttarakhand. “Statements by BJP leaders that they are in touch with 3-4 more MLAs only confirm this,” Rawat told reporters here.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Rawat also charged BJP with making the “Congress ministers and MLAs whom the party used to accuse of corruption the jewels of its crown.” “It is strange that BJP has made the same Congress ministers and leaders the jewels of its crown whom it used to attack most for corruption,” he said.Reacting to reports in a section of the press about imminent change of Governor in Uttarakhand, Rawat said it shows BJP has begun playing the game of putting even constitutional authorities “under pressure” for political reasons, which “does not augur well for democracy.” The former chief minister also accused BJP of stopping him from taking his views to people.”Stones are being thrown at my padyatras. My supporters are being shown lathis. It shows BJP does not want me to go to people with what I have to say on the way President’s rule was imposed and democracy was murdered in the state,” he said.Noting that everyone has the right to take their views to people in a democracy, he said no one can snatch away this right from the people. However, he said nothing can deter him from going on his padyatras and if necessary he will even observe a fast.

Uttarakhand crisis: Congress to take out padyatra against Centre from Monday

Congress will stage demonstration rallies and take out padyatras in the state from Monday to protest against the Centre’s “conspiracy to dislodge” elected governments in several states, including the one headed by former chief minister Harish Rawat in Uttarakhand.Pradesh Congress vice president Jot Singh Bisht said the proposed stir is the part of a country-wide agitation announced by the party’s central leadership. He said they would protest against the “undemocratic” methods the BJP-led central government adopted to “plot” the toppling of democratically-elected Congress governments.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Bisht said the party workers have been asked to gather at nearly 200 places, especially at the birthplaces or ancestral villages of freedom fighters from the state, martyrs of the statehood movement, and to take out from there “Save Democracy, Save Uttarakhand” yatras, which will be led by senior Congress leaders.”They will extensively tour the Assembly constituencies in these yatras and interact with the people to publicise the steps taken by the state government and tell them how the BJP used money and muscle to throw democratically-elected, well-performing government out of power,” Bisht said.These yatras will also be conducted in the Assembly constituencies of the rebel Congress MLAs who “back-stabbed” the party and alligned with the BJP to create the political crisis in the state, he said.The teams will converge at the party’s state office here on April 18, exactly a month since the political crisis in the state began with nine party MLAs revolting against Harish Rawat-led government, he said. They will then proceed to Mahatma Gandhi’s statue nearby where they will reiterate their pledge to protect democratic institutions in the country, Bisht said.

Uttarakhand crisis: Too many legal brains spoil the case, Congress learns the hard way

As the maxim goes that too many cooks spoil the broth, so is that too many legal brains spoil the case. Congress leaders are divided over whether the legal team that sought to test of strength on the floor of Assembly in Uttarakhand before the Nanital High Court did the right thing, rather than straight away contesting the presidential proclamation.Noted lawyer Abhishek Manu Singhvi on Tuesday got a major reprieve for the ousted Congress government led by Harish Rawat as the High Court agreed with his argument and allowed the government to prove majority on the floor of Assembly. But just a day after, the order was stayed by the court, which also adjourned the hearing till April 6 to look into the larger issue of the legality of the presidential proclamation, thereby, giving a lever to the Centre.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Another group of party’s senior lawyers, who are rushing to Nainital to challenge the Ordinance issued by the Centre for allowing expenditure in the new fiscal in Uttarakhand under the President’s rule, say that legal team should have on Tuesday itself contested the imposition of Article 356 and sought ruling on that, rather than just satisfying themselves by getting an order on the floor test without the restoration of the government.Asserting that the Union Cabinet has no authority to decide whether the Assembly passed the budget or not, senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal said it can be decided either by the Assembly Speaker or the Court. “The Government has come out with the Ordinance only to justify its wrong decision of invoking Article 356 to clamp President’s rule in the hill state,” he said. Sibal, also a senior lawyer, said he is going to Nainital to challenge on Friday the petition of the nine disqualified Congress MLAs and plead before the Uttarakhand High Court that the decision of the Speaker in the matter is final and not justiciable.He hoped the Court will see the BJP’s mala fide attempt to engineer defections and set aside the order passed by it on Monday to allow the rebel MLAs to participate in the floor test. The case is listed before the same single judge bench of Justice Umesh Chandra Dhyani who had ordered the floor test on Thursday that was stayed by a division bench headed by the High Court chief justice on Wednesday.Sibal said the Speaker had declared the budget passed by a voice vote on March 18 and if the Centre thought it were not so, it should not have kept silence for all these days. “Obviously the Centre thought the BJP will be able to form the government in the state by getting a stay on the disqualification of the Congress rebels. On realising that the Harish Rawat government would survive in the floor test on March 28 as ordered by the Governor, they imposed the President’s rule on the pretext that the Appropriation Bill was not passed.” Congress has now divided labour between its two top legal teams. While Sibal-led team will deal with the disqualification case on Friday, Singhvi will handle ousted Rawat’s petition challenging the President’s rule that has been now listed before the division bench headed by Chief Justice KM Joseph in Nainital next Wednesday.

Uttarakhand crisis: High Court stays floor test till April 7

In yet another twist to political developments in Uttarakhand, the Division Bench of High Court on Wednesday stayed till April 7 the floor test in the Assembly that was slated for Thursday.LIVE England vs New Zealand 1st Semi-Final T20, ICC World T20 2016, March 30, 2016Staying the order of the single judge U C Dhyani, the two-judge bench headed by Chief Justice K M Joseph posted the matter for April 6 for final hearing on the writ petition filed by ousted Chief Minister Harish Rawat challenging the imposition of President’s Rule in the state.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”In view of the consent of the parties that the writ petition be posted to 06-04-2016 for being disposed of finally, we direct that the order, which is impugned in these appeals will be kept in abeyance till 07-04-2016,” said the bench, also comprising Justice V K Bist, in a brief order. The order came after Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for the Centre, strongly opposed yesterday’s order saying courts cannot interfere with the Presidential proclamation.”How can a floor test be ordered when a Presidential proclamation is in force and the Assembly is in suspended animation,” Rohatgi said.The Bench noted that the AG and senior advocate Abishek Manu Singhvi, who appeared for Rawat, agreed that the writ petition which has given rise to these appeals may be “withdrawn to this Bench” and be finally disposed of. The AG said the Centre’s counter affidavit, along with that of Centrally-ruled Uttarakhand, would be filed by April 4. The court gave 24 hours to petitioner Rawat to file a rejoinder affidavit to counter affidavits.Earlier, the trust vote was slated for March 28 but the Centre imposed President’s Rule on March 27, citing “breakdown of Constitutional machinery” in the state. This was challenged by Rawat before the single judge U C Dhyani of the High Court.The single judge, while ordering the floor test on March 31, had also allowed nine disqualified rebel Congress MLAs to participate in the voting. Congress was unhappy and had planned to challenge this aspect of the order.Ordering the floor test on Tuesday, Justice Dhyani had observed that invoking of Article 356 of the Constitution by the Centre was a “colourable exercise of power”.”Democratically-elected Houses should not be demolished in such a fashion. Floor test is the only test to prove the majority,” he had said even though he ruled out staying the effect of the proclamation under Article 356 at this stage.Advocate Nalin Kohli, who was part of the lawyers’ team representing the Centre, said the Centre will file its counter before the Division Bench on April 4 for which the other side will file its reply the next day.Meanwhile, Justice Dhyani put off hearing on a plea by rebel Congress MLAs challenging their disqualification by Speaker Govind Singh Kunjwal after President’s Rule was imposed.Posting hearing on the disqualified MLAs’ appeal to April one, Justice Dhyani said as per the interim order issued by him on Tuesday they have already been given relief by being allowed to vote during a floor test despite being disqualified.The court also told them that although they have been allowed to vote in the assembly during floor test their votes will not be treated on par with the rest of the MLAs.An appeal was filed today by six of the nine rebel MLAs against the Speaker’s action questioning its validity on the ground that the action had been taken after imposition of President’s Rule and suspension of the Assembly.The Speaker had disqualified nine Congress MLAs under the anti-defection law hours after imposition of President’s Rule on March 27, a day before the Rawat government was scheduled to go for a floor test in the Assembly. Rawat welcomed the verdict of the Division Bench, saying it will benefit the state.

Uttarakhand crisis: BJP welcomes HC order staying tomorrow’s floor test

BJP on Wednesday welcomed the Uttarakhand High Court Division Bench order staying tomorrow’s floor test in the Assembly, saying it has offered clarity and lifted the uncertainty caused by the order of a single judge of the court yesterday.LIVE England vs New Zealand 1st Semi-Final T20, ICC World T20 2016, March 30, 2016″We welcome the order. The order delivered yesterday for holding the floor test tomorrow had created a lot of uncertainty. The Division Bench’s order has given clarity,” BJP National Secretary Shrikant Sharma said reacting to the order. Attacking Congress, he said it has been caught in its own trap and should not blame the BJP for President’s Rule because no government can be run when a majority of MLAs are against its continuation.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The Governor’s report also mentioned about the horse trading involving the then Chief Minister Harish Rawat. He was caught offering allurements to his own party MLAs. Congress has shamed democracy. Actions of its government necessitated President’s Rule” he said. Rawat was involved in political “intrigue” against former Chief Minister and Congress veteran ND Tiwari, Sharma alleged, adding that he “worked for the removal” of former Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna. “Now, he is facing rebellion. He should not be blaming BJP for it.”The Division Bench of Uttarakhand High Court today stayed till April 7 the floor test in the Assembly that was slated for tomorrow.Staying the order of the single judge U C Dhyani, the two-judge bench headed by Chief Justice K M Joseph posted the matter for April 6 for final hearing on the writ petition filed by ousted Chief Minister Harish Rawat challenging the imposition of President’s Rule in the state.

High Court order on Uttarakhand crisis leaves BJP, Congress confused

Amidst confusion over a Nainital High Court order allowing ousted chief minister Harish Rawat a chance to prove his majority, the Congress called it a victory while a rattled BJP started exploring various options, including challenging it legally. Congress too was weighing options to petition a two-judge Bench to seek clarification on the role of nine disqualified MLAs.Congress in-charge of Uttrakhand Ambika Soni was forthright. Even though she welcomed the judgment, she highlighted grey areas of the judgment, saying it has opened doors for a confrontation between the judiciary and the legislature. “We are vindicated, but there are concerns in the wake of Speaker having disqualified MLAs, where will they vote? Only members are allowed to enter the House. Where will they sit and vote and what is the validity of their vote?,” she asked.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>She further said that as per Constitutional scheme, Speaker’s ruling is final viz-a-viz running of the House, which has been accepted by the apex court as well.The order, bringing the court at loggerheads with the Modi government two days after President’s rule was imposed in the state, came as a surprise at the BJP headquarters in the Capital. Party leaders dubbed the judgment as complicated and said their legal experts team would study it in detail and then the further course of action would be decided.One of the options the party is examining is challenging the court’s order in a higher court. A party leader said that if the court can challenge a decision taken by the union cabinet, which had recommended President’s rule in the state, then the court’s order can also be challenged.The BJP is unlikely to sit back and watch quietly, sources said. President’s rule was imposed in the state on Sunday, a day before Rawat was to prove his majority on the floor of the House. BJP leaders said it was unprecedented to allow a floor test after imposition of President’s rule, on which the judgment was silent.”We do not want to comment on the court’s verdict. We will be studying the judgment,” said BJP spokesperson Shrikant Sharma. He also said that there was a constitutional crisis in the state.Asked if it was a setback to the party as President’s rule was imposed a day before Rawat was to test majority on floor of the House, he asked “If he had the majority why was he waiting? Why did he not go for the test earlier?”Congress leaders believe the tricky part of Justice Dhyani’s order is that the votes of the disqualified MLAs will be kept separate with the Registrar General of the High Court deputed as an observer to the floor test and these will be subject to the final outcome of the separate petition filed by them challenging their disqualification by the Speaker. The party is concerned that the order has also restrained the Speaker from declaring the result of the floor test but to communicate it to the High Court in a sealed cover.Therefore, the ball will be lobbed back to the judge after Thursday’s floor test. Congress’s legal brains believe that court may strike down President’s rule and restore the Congress government led by Rawat and then proceed to separately hear the rebels’ challenge to their disqualification. If the disqualifications are struck down subsequently, Rawat will again come into minority and be forced to resign. The Congress sources said he may recommend dissolution of the Assembly and resign to pave way for early polls. The Assembly’s 5-year term is ending in any case next March.

Uttarakhand High Court orders floor test tomorrow

In a setback to the Centre, the Uttarakhand High Court on Tuesday ordered a floor test for the Harish Rawat government in the Assembly on March 31, giving a new turn to the political events in the state where President’s rule was imposed on Sunday.Considering the peculiarity of the situation, a single-judge bench made it clear that the only agenda for the day would be “the vote of confidence as directed by the governor by his earlier communication….. That is on that date the vote of confidence will be put to the floor test. “<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In its short order, the court said all MLAs, including the nine ruling Congress rebels, can participate in the trial of strength but the votes of the disqualified legislators will be kept separate. They will be taken into account, subject to the final outcome of the writ petition filed by chief minister Harish Rawat, challenging the imposition of President’s rule.”This order shall be treated as notice for all MLAs to be present in the Assembly for the vote of confidence. No separate notice will be required to be sent to the MLAs,”Justice U C Dhyani said.The court requested the chief justice of the high court to appoint a registrar as observer for the floor test and directed the result “to be kept by the Speaker in a sealed cover and the same to be placed before the court on April 1.”It also ordered the chief secretary, home secretary and the director- general of police to ensure the security of the members in the Assembly when the floor test is carried out.Rawat’s government was sacked by the BJP-led NDA government on Sunday on the grounds of “breakdown of constitutional machinery.”Immediately, Rawat moved the high court at Nainital, calling the Centre’s decision as “arbitrary” and demanded its quashing. Appearing for the Congress, senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi argued that there is enough scope for judicial review to allow a floor test.He said governor K K Paul too had directed holding the floor test on March 28 and Rawat had also made the same demand twice and mere allegations of horse-trading cannot justify the imposition of President’s rule and stop a floor test.The political crisis in the state arose after nine Congress MLAs voted with the BJP against the appropriation Bill on March 18, which the speaker declared as passed, ignoring demands for division.Following this, speaker Govind Singh Kunjwal issued notices to the nine MLAs under the anti-defection law as to why they should not be disqualified. Even as there were reports that the rebels were disqualified, on Saturday night, the Union cabinet met and considered the governor’s report for imposition of President’s rule.

Centre to challenge Nainital HC’s verdict in Uttarakhand crisis?

The Central Government is likely to challenge the Nainital High Court’s order directing a floor test in the Uttarakhand state assembly on March 31.The Nainital High Court on Tuesday ordered a floor test in the Assembly to determine which party enjoys a majority and stayed President’s Rule, which was imposed on Sunday. The court, in it order, also allowed the nine suspended rebel MLAs to take part in the floor test. The assembly floor test will be held at 11 a.m. on Thursday and Registrar General of Nainital HC will be present as an observer.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With the move coming weeks after President’s rule was imposed in Arunachal Pradesh, an angry Congress claimed that the BJP had stooped to a new low and would challenge the order in court.The crisis in the hill state erupted on March 18 when nine Congress MLAs rebelled against Rawat’s government, resulting in flip-flop in the passage of the Appropriation Bill. The BJP met the Governor the same day and staked claim to form the government.

Relief for Congress in Uttarakhand; High Court orders floor test in assembly on March 31

In a major relief to Congress, the Nainital High Court on Tuesday allowed a floor test in Uttarakhand Assembly on March 31st and the nine suspended rebel MLAs have been allowed to take part.The assembly floor test will be held at 11 am on Thurday and Registrar General of Nainital HC will be present as an observer.Meanwhile, the President’s rule has been stayed in the state.”The floor test was asked by us on the basis of past precedents of Supreme Court,” said Abhishek Manu Singhvi, Counsel for Harish Rawat.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Congress had moved the High Court on Monday and pertaining to that, Justice US Dhyani admitted the petition on the issue and directed the Centre to file a counter reply by Tuesday.The Centre, in a dramatic move, dismissed the Congress government and imposed President’s rule in the state citing breakdown of governance.Not amused by the step, Chief Minister Harish Rawat termed it as the ‘murder of democracy’.With the move coming weeks after President’s rule was imposed in Arunachal Pradesh, an angry Congress claimed that the BJP had stooped to a new low and would challenge the order in court.The crisis in the hill state erupted on March 18 when nine Congress MLAs rebelled against Rawat’s government, resulting in flip-flop in the passage of the Appropriation Bill. The BJP met the governor the same day and staked claim to form the government.

Shaky pillars force Sonia Gandhi to step in; Congress now feels heat in Himachal, Manipur and Meghalaya

With the Congress now reduced to holding power in just seven states – a historic low – the party leadership is scrambling to quell dissidence by opening a communication with MLAs, lest these states too follow the path of Uttarakhand and Arunachal Pradesh.On Monday, Congress president Sonia Gandhi interacted with Himachal Pradesh chief minister Virbhadra Singh, whom the party believes could be the next target. The BJP is already demanding his resignation after the CBI last October raided his residence in connection with a disproportionate assets case. Singh is the first chief minister in office to be raided.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Sonia is planning to have a series of such meetings with other state leaders as well in the coming days.The party has lost Uttarakhand and Arunachal Pradesh to rebellion within its ranks. Senior party leaders, who are accusing the Centre and the ruling BJP of engineering defections, smell replication of similar events now in Manipur, Meghalaya and Himachal Pradesh.They allege that fuelling rebellion and supporting dissidents to rock Congress governments goes in tune with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s slogan of ‘Congress Mukt Bharat’, and also to shore up numbers in the Rajya Sabha, where it is facing an uphill task to seek passage of crucial legislations.While the BJP and its allies now hold power in 12 states, the Congress is reduced to seven, with just Kerala and Karnataka as major states. Another state, Assam, is in the midst of polls, and three other tiny states in the Northeast are in a weak situation. Many senior party leaders at the AICC headquarters also agree that Rahul Gandhi’s new system was not working well and his team was not equipped to handle such issues. Though they appreciate him for ensuring inner-party democracy and giving greater say to workers, they are cribbing at being alienated.Rebels, both in Arunachal Pradesh and now in Uttarakhand, also blame Rahul’s style of functioning and lack of communication with MLAs as a major reason for their walking out. Earlier, Sonia had summoned Manipur chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh and deputy chief minister Gaikhangam in connection with dissidence within the state unit of the party. In this state also, dissidents’ strength is more than 25 out 48 Congress MLAs. Manipur is also scheduled to go to polls in February.Manipur BJP president Thounaojam Chaoba is confident that his party will wrest power from the Congress, which has been in the saddle for the last three terms.Congress’ successive electoral debacles mean that it is now ruling a population of just 14.2 crore, less than that of the Samajwadi Party (SP), which rules Uttar Pradesh with 19.8 crore population. More significantly, none of industrial hubs except Karnataka are under its control. Others – Gujarat, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu – are all with non-Congress parties. Among others states, leading India’s growth, only Himachal Pradesh now remains with the Congress.Both former Uttarakhand chief minister Vijay Bahuguna and another rebel Harak Singh Rawat told dna that inaccessibility of Rahul Gandhi and his refusal to take time out led them to take such extreme step. “This (crisis) is entirely the weakness of the central leadership,” said Bahuguna.Rawat said when he had walked with Rahul Gandhi to Kedarnath, he had requested for a meeting to apprise him of the situation in Uttarakhand. “Since then I followed up with his office, but he never had time to meet us,” he said, adding repeatedly that rebels have nothing against Congress. “Soniaji meets everybody, but there is never any solution from her. We have told (AICC general secretary in-charge) Ambika Soni many times but she always says there is nothing in her hands,” Rawat claimed.

Harish Rawat claims support of 34 MLAs, challenges President’s rule in High Court

Dislodged Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat on Monday mounted a legal challenge to the imposition of President s rule and demanded its revocation as Congress sparred with BJP accusing the Centre of toppling its government ahead of a floor test in the Assembly.Describing the decision as a “brazen display of high- handedness and authoritarianism”, Rawat filed a petition in the Uttarakhand High Court seeking quashing of the Presidential proclamation.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>However, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley put the blame squarely on the Congress for the “Constitutional crisis” in the state and accused the Speaker of declaring as passed a “defeated” appropriation bill and then failing to certify the “falsehood”.”This leaves the state without any approved financial expenditure with effect from 1st April, 2015,” he wrote in a “Facebook” blog titled “A State without a Budget”. Rawat’s petition came up before the single bench of Justice U C Dhyani, who after hearing both sides for close to four hours, said the matter would be taken up again tomorrow.”Invocation of Art 356 of the Constitution in Uttarakhand is absolutely illegal, arbitrary and malafide and therefore its invocation should be quashed and Harish Rawat government restored,” senior Supreme Court counsel Abhishek Manu Sanghvi contended before the petition. Questioning the timing of the move, Singhvi said it was meant to sabotage the Constitutional process.On the ground, Rawat made a show of strength before Governor K K Paul when he led a march of 34 MLAs owing allegiance to him and claimed he had the numbers to prove his majority. He sought Governor’s permission to prove his majority in the Assembly.MLAs who went along with Rawat included 26 of the Congress, five of the Progressive Democratic Front(PDF) and one nominated member of the state Assembly. A letter claiming support of 34 MLAs was also handed over to the Governor. Govind Singh Kunjwal, the Speaker of the state Assembly, which is now in suspended animation, was not part of the MLAs who met the Governor while PDF member Sarbat Karim Ansari was absent due to personal reasons.”Congress still enjoys a majority in the state Assembly and it should have been given an opportunity to prove this on the floor of the House,” Congress MLA Indira Hridayesh told reporters soon after meeting the Governor. “We have the support of 34 MLAs and we are in a majority.We have given this information to the Governor,” she said. Nine party rebels, who had revolted against the Rawat government were disqualified by Speaker on Sunday. reducing the effective strength of the House to 61 from 70.

Harish Rawat govt was ‘unconstitutional’ and ‘immoral’: Arun Jaitley

Even as Congress cried foul, Government on Sunday justified imposition of President’s Rule in Uttarakhand, saying the Harish Rawat government was “unconstitutional” and “immoral” since March 18 when the “failed” Appropriation Bill was shown as passed.”There can be no better example of implementation of Article 356 (imposition of President’s Rule)…There was complete breakdown of the Constitution in Uttarakhand,” Union Minister for Finance and Information and Broadcasting Arun Jaitley told reporters here. “There were very good grounds for the Union Cabinet to recommend President’s Rule in the state… The Chief Minister had lost majority on 18th (of March) and his continuation was unconstitutional and immoral,” he said, adding it was the demand of time that the government should have been dismissed.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>While referring to March 18, he said in the 71-member Assembly, 67 members, excluding the Speaker, were present out of whom 35 wanted Division of Votes on the Appropriation Bill. The Division of votes was sought in writing in advance by the 35 members who also voted against the Bill, despite which the Speaker showed the legislation as passed, Jaitley said.”The Speaker said in writing that ‘the Division was sought but I treat the bill as passed’… This is for the first time in the history of Independent India that a bill is shown as passed even when it has been defeated. That was the first violation of the Constitution,” said Jaitley. The Appropriation Bill empowers the government to draw funds for expenses from April one and if it is defeated on the floor of the House, the government has to resign.Among other reasons cited for dismissing the Rawat government were attempts to “change the composition of the Assembly”, “allurements” allegedly offered by the Chief Minister and long time given to him to prove his majority. 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. Even as Congress cried foul, Jaitley justified the Centre’s decision, saying the Harish Rawat government was “unconstitutional” and “immoral” since March 18 when the “failed” Appropriation Bill was shown as passed.”There can be no better example of implementation of Article 356 (imposition of President’s Rule)…There was complete breakdown of the Constitution in Uttarakhand,” Union Minister for Finance and Information and Broadcasting Arun Jaitley told reporters here. “There were very good grounds for the Union Cabinet to recommend President’s Rule in the state… The Chief Minister had lost majority on 18th (of March) and his continuation was unconstitutional and immoral,” he said, adding it was the demand of time that the government should have been dismissed.The Congress denounced the decision calling it a “murder of democracy” and said it showed that BJP did not believe in democracy. “It’s a blatant and brazen display of authoritarian, anti-democratic and anti-Constitutional mindset of the Modi government,” said Ghulam Nabi Azad, Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha.Today’s action, he said, is a grim reminder of the threat the democratic institutions of the country are facing and accused the Modi government of having breached all records in trampling the democratic norms and Constitutional traditions. Azad recalled that earlier a Congress government inArunachal Pradesh was also “toppled by sheer abuse of power and money”. The political crisis in the state arose after the controversial circumstances in which the Appropriation Bill was declared passed in the Assembly by the Speaker with the BJP and the rebel Congress claiming that a division of votes pressed by them was not allowed.They alleged that the Bill was defeated in the voice vote by a majority of the members present but the Speaker did not test it in a proper division of votes. The opposition claimed that it had a majority of 35 MLAs, including 9 rebels, in the House that day out of 67 MLAs present. The BJP said the 35 MLAs had written to the Speaker in advance that they would be voting against the bill but the Speaker had refused to take it into his consideration.Last night, the Union Cabinet met amidst reports that the Speaker had disqualified the rebel Congress MLAs that would would have helped the beleaguered government. Apprehending imposition of President’s rule, the Congress had attacked the BJP saying it was resorting to the extreme step as its earlier moves had failed. While referring to the proceedings of March 18, Jaitley said in the 71-member Assembly, 67 members, excluding the Speaker, were present out of whom 35 wanted Division of Votes on the Appropriation Bill.The Division of votes was sought in writing in advance by the 35 members who also voted against the Bill, despite which the Speaker showed the legislation as passed, Jaitley said. “The Speaker said in writing that ‘the Division was sought but I treat the bill as passed’… This is for the first time in the history of Independent India that a bill is shown as passed even when it has been defeated. That was the first violation of the Constitution,” said Jaitley.The Appropriation Bill empowers the government to draw funds for expenses from April one and if it is defeated on the floor of the House, the government has to resign. Among other reasons cited for dismissing the Rawat government were attempts to “change the composition of the Assembly”, “allurements” allegedly offered by the Chief Minister and long time given to him to prove his majority.

Uttarakhand crisis: Sting operation weakens Rawat’s case further; BJP calls for Prez rule

Just two days ahead of the floor test, Congress in Uttarakhand courted more trouble on Saturday, with the rebel party MLAs releasing a sting video purportedly showing chief minister Harish Rawat offering them huge money and ministerial berths to buy their support.While Rawat termed the video “fake”, his party alleged that “dirty tricks department” of BJP president Amit Shah is at work. The BJP, however, urged governor Krishna Kant Paul – who had asked Rawat to prove majority in Assembly on Monday – to immediately dismiss the government.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The sting video was released by son of former CM Vijay Bahuguna, Saket Bahuguna, who appeared along with rebel Congress MLAs Harak Singh Rawat and Subodh Uniyal, who were in an undisclosed location for over a week. In the CD, the CM was seen offering Rs 5 crore to each legislator, besides ministerial berth for two. Rawat was shown telling the interviewer to pay on his behalf and that he will be compensated later.The chief minister, who denied that he was trying to buy support of rebel party MLAs and that of BJP, has sought a probe into authenticity of the CD, produced by a “shady journalist” Umesh. The BJP, however, said its leaders would meet the President to demand immediate dismissal of the government. “After the release of the sting video, Rawat has no moral right to remain as chief minister even for a minute,” said its national general secretary, Kailash Vijayvargiya.Refuting the Congress charge of horse-trading, he said the BJP has no role in whatever is happening. “It’s their internal matter. Even these MLAs are not with us. The Congress is accusing us to hide its own weaknesses,” Vijayvargiya said.At a news briefing, Uttarakhand Congress president Kishore Upadhyay said Vijayvargiya can’t deny the BJP hand in trying to pull down the government as he was very much in the Assembly with party vice-president Shyam Jaju on the day budget was to be passed and could be seen sending slips to Vijay Bahuguna and others to instigate them to vote out the budget.He said the conspiracy, hatched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah, was exposed when both the Governor and the High Court refused to oblige them. Asserting that the Congress will re-establish its majority on Monday, Upadhyay claimed he was in touch with six of the nine rebel MLAs but refused to divulge names. Stating that the rebels could still be “taken back on merit”, he singled out Vijay Bahuguna and Harak Singh Rawat for “backstabbing” the party.

Uttarakhand crisis: CM Harish Rawat claims sting video is fake

Claiming that the video CD of a purported sting operation, circulated by the rebel Congress MLAs, was fake, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat on Saturday cast doubt about the credentials of the man behind it and demanded a probe into his antecedents.”The sting CD being shown on the news channels is fake. The reputation of the man behind it who is associated with a private news channel is not hidden from anyone. His antecedents must be probed,” Rawat said at a hurriedly-called press conference at his residence here, soon after the sting CD was released before the media in Delhi.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Even though he called the video “false”, Rawat said if at all it indicates something, it is that the rebel MLAs have aligned with BJP for money.Holding Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP president Amit Shah and the rebel MLAs responsible for the political crisis in Uttarakhand, Rawat said the CD was just an offshoot of an unholy alliance between these people who had come together to destabilise a democratically-elected government and derail the process of development in the state.Refusing to take any question from reporters, the Chief Minister said the matter is before constitutional authorities and it would not be appropriate for him to comment on it further.

Uttarakhand crisis: Rebel Cong MLA accuses Harish Rawat of horse-trading, CM refutes allegations

Rebel Congress MLA Harak Singh Rawat on Saturday made serious allegations against Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat, saying the nine legislators, who have joined hands with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have been lured by the present state government. Harak Singh, through a sting, has also claimed that Rawat threatened the MLAs.‘There is an attempt being made to purchase the BJP MLAs, including the nine rebel Congress MLAs,’ Singh told a press conference. He also said they have expressed their security concerns to the Centre as they are getting threats. ‘We have asked the ruling dispensation at the Centre to make arrangements for us,’ he added.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Earlier, the Uttarakhand High Court dismissed the petition filed by the rebel Congress MLAs challenging the notice issued to them by Assembly speaker Govind Singh Kunjwal.The nine rebel MLAs had earlier on Friday filed a petition in the High Court challenging the showcause notice issued to them by the speaker.The speaker had on Sunday served a notice to the nine rebels, including former chief minister Vijay Bahuguna and former cabinet minister Harak Singh Rawat, questioning their move to join BJP legislators on March 18.The Uttarakhand battle reached the corridors of the Rashtrapati Bhavan on Monday with the BJP demanding President Pranab Mukherjee to dismiss the Harish Rawat-led government while the Congress accused the ruling dispensation at the Centre of attempting to destabilise the grand old party.Bahuguna and the other eight rebel MLAs have also been issued notices by the speaker under the anti-defection law. The Congress has told all of its MLAs that any indiscipline will not be tolerated at any cost and strict action will be taken against the violators. Rawat had earlier this week accused the NDA Government of attempting to destabilise his government while rejecting the BJP’s allegations of corruption in his state.Watch the alleged video below: Harak rubbishes allegations Rubbishing the allegations of ‘horse trading’ levelled against him by rebel Congress MLA Harak Singh Rawat, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat on Saturday said that the CD presented was totally fake, adding that efforts were being made to tarnish the image of the Congress-led state government.‘I want to say it straightforward that the CD presented is completely false and fake. Through this CD, efforts are being made to tarnish the image of the state by the rebel leaders,’ Rawat told a press conference.Note: dna could not independently verify the authenticity of the video.

Uttarakhand crisis: Baba Ramdev cries foul; advises Sonia, Rahul Gandhi to take stock of situation

Rubbishing all allegations levelled against him by the Congress, yoga guru Baba Ramdev on Friday said that he has nothing to do with the ongoing political crisis in Uttarakhand, adding that if he had to challenge the grand old party then he would do it openly.Ramdev told ANI that Congress president Sonia Gandhi and party vice-president Rahul Gandhi should not blame him for their incompetence while advising the mother-son duo to bring the present political instability in the hilly state under control.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”I have nothing to do with the political crisis which the Congress is suffering in Uttarakhand. Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi should take stock of the situation in Uttarakhand and control it. I have never done anything under cover or behind anyone’s back, I have always been blatant in my speech and open about my endeavour. If I want to stand against Congress or challenge it, I will do it openly,” he said.”Anyway I have withdrawn myself from politics. Currently, I am concentrating on promoting yoga and ayurveda. The Congress should behave sensibly, neither should they provoke me uselessly nor they should level false allegations against me,” he added.The yoga guru categorically stated that he did not believe in politics of revenge.”As far as the cases on Patanjali are concerned, they are presently in court and no political can do anything in that. I have full trust in the judiciary of the country. I have never done anything wrong. So, why will anything wrong happen to me? Patanjali cases have nothing to do with the ongoing political crisis in the country,” he said.Uttarakhand Pradesh Congress president Kishore Upadhyay on Thursday dragged Ramdev and accused him of hatching a conspiracy jointly with BJP leadership to topple the state government in Uttarakhand.The Congress alleged that the yoga guru and BJP chief Amit Shah had chalked a plot together to dislodge the state government and the rebellion against Harish Rawat by the party’s MLAs was a result of the same strategy. Upadhyay had also claimed that that he had enough evidence to substantiate his allegations.

Uttarakhand crisis: Governor KK Paul instructs Speaker for floor test on March 28

Sensing that trouble could brew up on March 28 Uttarakhand Governor K K Paul, as a precautionary measure, has instructed Speaker Govind Singh Kunjwal to follow all constitutional procedures during the vote of confidence.It is understood that the Governor through an official letter has asked the Speaker not only to follow all constitutional provisions in letter and spirit but also do complete videography of the vote of confidence and declare the results immediately after the voting is done, sources said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The move by the Governor is understood to have come after BJP legislators approached him alleging no confidence in the Speaker and requested him to ensure that constitutional propriety remains intact on the day of strength test.Earlier, on March 19, Governor Paul had asked Harish Rawat-led Congress government to prove its majority on the floor of the House on March 28.The nine days given to the Rawat government to prove majority had annoyed the BJP leadership which claimed winning over nine rebel Congress MLAs to its side and was trying hard to keep them in hiding in an undisclosed location in Jaipur.Amid the atmosphere of distrust, Uttarakhand Congress also shifted all its MLAs to an undisclosed location in Jim Corbett National Park.Giving statements contrary to each other’s claims, both the parties are planning to reach capital Dehradun with their respective MLAs either late on March 27 or early March 28 to avoid any possibility of wooing over of their flock by another.Meanwhile, the political crisis in Uttarakhand took a new turn with the Congress dragging Ramdev into the picture accusing him of “hatching” a plot jointly with BJP leadership to topple the state government but the yoga guru on Thursday refuted the charge.Uttarakhand Pradesh Congress president Kishore Upadhyay created a flutter in political circles here by alleging that the yoga guru and BJP chief Amit Shah had hatched a conspiracy together to dislodge the state government, and the rebellion against Harish Rawat by Congress MLAs was a result of this.Claiming that he had enough evidence to substantiate his charge, Upadhyay said “Ramdev was in touch with Congress rebels and is one of the key persons besides the BJP president involved in hatching a conspiracy against the ruling party.”He (Ramdev) worked like a BJP agent to foment a rebellion against the state government and topple it.” Upadhyay claimed that Ramdev was in touch with the nine rebel Congress MLAs before March 18 when the crisis erupted in the state Assembly during a vote on the appropriation bill on the states annual budget.However, taking cognisance of newspaper reports in this regard, Ramdev said he was unnecessarily being dragged into the ongoing political turmoil in the state despite the fact that he had nothing to do with it.”I read in the newspapers that Ramdev and Amit Shah together conspired to topple the state government. Not even in my dream did I have a talk with any Congress MLA or party worker. Whatever we do, we do it openly. If we have to make or break something, we do it openly we don’t do anything with a hidden agenda behind the curtains,” Ramdev told reporters in Haridwar when asked to comment on the charges levelled against him.(With agency inputs)

Uttarakhand crisis: Governor KK Paul writes to Centre, calls situation administrative failure

Uttarakhand Governor KK Paul has written to the Centre on Monday over the crisis in Uttarakhand state assembly. He has mentioned the crisis as ‘administrative breakdown’ in the state, in his letter. Paul has also sent a CD of incidents that took place inside the state Assembly on 18th March.A week to go for the trial of strength in Uttarakhand, Congress on Monday expelled former chief minister Vijay Bahuguna’s son Saket and another leader for “anti-party” activities as beleaguered Chief Minister Harish Rawat accused the Centre of destabilising his government.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Congress and the BJP have also decided to knock the doors of President Pranab Mukherjee when their delegations will meet and put their cases before him.The action against Saket, whose father rebelled and voted against the government in the assembly on Friday, and Congress joint secretary Anil Gupta came after they were accused of siding with the nine MLAs who rebelled against the Rawat government.Addressing a press conference in Dehradun, Harish Rawat accused the BJP-led Central government of “killing democracy” by using its brute majority to cause “political instability” in a small state and the BJP of using “money and muscle” power. This, he said, was not good for the state as it may see a new Chief Minister every year and the dreams of the hill state will be shattered.Meanwhile, a delegation headed by former Defence Minister AK Antony will meet the President and complain against the “game of destabilisation” indulged in by the BJP. It will include Ghulam Nabi Azad, Motilal Vora, Ambika Soni, Ahmed Patel and Kapil Sibal.On the rival side, all BJP MPs from the state and 35 MLAs including Vijay Bahuguna and sacked minister Harak Singh Rawat and seven Congress rebel MLAs, will march from Vijay Chowk to Rashtrapati Bhawan. Their delegation headed by party leaders Kailash Vijayvargiya and Shyam Jaju will call on him and seek dismissal of the Rawat government.With agency inputs.

Uttarakhand crisis: BJP is making a mockery of Parliament democracy, says Nitish Kumar

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Sunday charged the ruling BJP of “making a mockery” of Parliamentary democracy by “promoting defections” in Uttarakhand.”If the BJP has to do such things (promoting defections), then it should have removed the provisions of the 10th schedule from the Constitution. It is a mockery of Parliamentary democracy,” Kumar said.The 10th schedule of Constitution deals with provisions for disqualification on grounds of defection. Kumar was talking to reporters on the sidelines of a ‘Holi milan’ function organised by the Bihar Chamber of Commerce and Industries.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>It may be noted that Congress government in Uttarkhand led by Harish Rawat plunged into a crisis two days ago with nine party MLAs turning rebel and opposition BJP staking claim to form the government.Governor Krishna Kant Paul had asked Rawat on Saturday to prove his majority on the floor of the state Assembly by March 28.

Uttarakhand crisis: CM Rawat fears losing more MLAs, flies Congress, PDF MLAs to undisclosed location

Congress and PDF MLAs in Uttarakhand were flown in choppers to an undisclosed location in Nainital on Sunday in an apparent bid by the ruling Congress to keep its flock together in the face of turmoil which Chief Minister Harish Rawat described as a virtual “encounter” by BJP. A combined group of Congress and PDF legislators led by the Chief Minister’s Industrial Advisor Ranjit Rawat boarded three private choppers from the city’s Sahastradhara helipad giving rise to speculation that it was an attempt by Rawat to prevent the possibility of any more MLAs crossing over to the other side. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Though putting up a brave face, the fear of losing more MLAs before it takes the floor test in the state Assembly on March 28 still grips Congress and shifting its MLAs to the hills of Kumaon may be a step to ward off any such danger, observers here said. However, Pradesh Congress leaders said not much should be read into the development, terming it as an excursion trip ahead of Holi. “It should not be linked with politics. It is a weekend and Holi is a just a couple of days away. There are many resorts in Ramnagar and Corbett Tiger Reserve area. The MLAs may have gone there just to unwind,” state Congress Chief Spokesman Mathuradutt Joshi said “There is no threat to government and no need to resort to such measures. Our flock is intact and will remain so,” he said.Meanwhile, Rawat said what the BJP was trying to do in Uttarakhand was virtually like an “encounter”. “It is a kind of encounter. First they broke the leg of a horse and now they are trying to break the legs of Uttarakhand through horse trading,” Rawat told reporters on the sidelines of a programme in the city. Later in a statement here, Rawat said, “What is happening in the state is part of a larger conspiracy by the BJP at the Centre to topple non-Congress regimes everywhere in the country. First it was Arunachal Pradesh and now it is Uttarakhand.”However, ruling out any threat to his government, Rawat said he will prove his majority on March 28 when he has been asked by the Governor to go for a floor test.Sources said Congress and PDF MLAs loyal to Rawat have been put up at different places in Nainital district, including Ramnagar, Kausani and Marchula.The move comes in the wake of repeated claims by legislators of the rebel Congress group, camping in Gurgaon, that a couple of more MLAs from Rawat camp were likely to join hands with them.Meanwhile, in a statement here former Congress veteran Satpal Maharaj, who is now with the BJP, hit back at Rawat for his charge against BJP leadership that it was trying to topple a democratically elected government saying it was exactly what Rawat did with N D Tiwari’s government in the state.”Rawat seems to have forgotten what he used to do with Tiwari ji when he was the Chief Minister of Uttarakhand. Was it not murder of democracy to destabilise Tiwari ji’s govt? Is it democratic to deprive BJP MLA from Mussoorie Ganesh Joshi of his right to vote in the state Assembly?”

Uttarakand crisis: Congress dubs Speaker’s notice violation of Anti-Defection Law

The Congress Party on Sunday expressed anger after Uttarakhand Assembly Speaker GS Kunjwal issuing show-cause notices to the nine rebel Congress legislators, and said that it was a direct violation of the Anti-Defection Law. “The intolerance is at its peak. Everyday new tactics are being used. The constitutional facts are being violated in Uttarakhand. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) wants to snatch the power anyhow in the state,” Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi told the reporters. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”There cannot be more serious and direct violation of the Anti-Defection law. To install an anti-constitutional government, falsehood is being spread by the BJP,” he added. Meanwhile, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat alleged that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was murdering democracy by targeting the opposition party-ruled state governments one after another. “The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is trying to destabilise state governments using the Centre?s power. They are murdering democracy. Though they talk about cooperative federalism, the BJP is targeting the opposition party-ruled state governments one by one, which is encounter of a sort,” said Rawat. “They first broke the leg of a horse. And now, they are trying to break the leg of Uttarakhand through horse trading,” he added.”Now, the battle has become the fight of the people of Uttarakhand and I am just the medium. We have to see whether the destiny of the state will be decided by defection or development, where there will be talks over growth of villages, weaker section, women and the youth,” he said. “It’s a scheme against the Congress here, and I will do every possible thing to protect the state,” he added.The rebel Congress MLAs will go to the Raj Bhawan in Uttarakhand later today against the speaker’s notice to them. Uttarakhand Governor Dr Krishna Kant Paul yesterday wrote to Rawat, asking him to prove majority in the House by March 28. The Congress Government in Uttarakhand is presently in crisis as nine party MLAs, including a minister, joined hands with the BJP on Friday night. The BJP staked claim to form the government with the support of the rebel Congress MLAs.

Uttarakhand crisis: Speaker issues notices to 9 rebel Congress MLAs

Uttarakhand Speaker Govind Singh Kunjwal has issued notices to nine rebel Congress MLAs asking them why they should not be disqualified from the House even as Arun Jaitley and Rahul Gandhi sparred over the political crisis in the hill state.Main opposition BJP has, meanwhile, claimed that 35 MLAs including 26 from the party and nine from Congress had already given a notice for a no-confidence motion against the Speaker to the Vidhan Sabha Secretary for his alleged failure to conduct the House in an impartial manner even before he issued the notices to the rebel Congress MLAs.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Chief Minister Harish Rawat while training his guns on the BJP said they are “killing” democracy.
ALSO READ Uttarakhand crisis: BJP first broke horse’s leg, now they are horse-trading, says CM Harish Rawat”BJP party with the support of their party at Centre is trying to destabilise the state governments. They are killing democracy. They talk about cooperative federalism and they are targeting the opposition governments selectively,” he said.Notices have been issued to the nine rebel Congress MLAs following a request from party chief whip and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Indira Hridayesh seeking action against them for violating the party whip in the state Assembly during voting on the Finance Bill. The notices have been pasted on the walls of the houses of the MLAs concerned which asks them to submit their replies to the Speaker by March 26 evening.
ALSO READ Uttarakhand crisis: Harak Singh Rawat expelled from Cabinet for ‘unparliamentary conduct’However, Pradesh BJP president and Leader of Opposition in the state Assembly Ajay Bhatt said as a notice of no-confidence has already been moved against the Speaker he should quit his post.Using the Uttarakhand crisis to escalate his attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP, Rahul Gandhi said it has exposed the “true face of Modiji’s BJP” and that “toppling” governments by “blatant use of money” seems to be the ruling party’s new model.Senior BJP leader and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley blamed the Congress for the crisis, claiming there is “deep division” and said it cannot be attributable to the BJP.”There is a deep division in the Congress in Uttarakhand… it cannot be attributable to the BJP,” Jaitley told reporters in Delhi. The Congress had earlier accused the BJP of engineering split in the party.Jaitley said that a majority of MLAs voted against the controversial Finance bill but the Speaker declared it passed.”In Uttarakhand, Speaker considered a failed bill as passed. This is happening for the first time in the country,” he said.Chief Minister Rawat said the BJP strategy to topple his government is a type of an encounter and referred to how police horse Shaktiman was brutally attacked during a protest by BJP workers in Dehradun and had its hind leg amputated.”First they broke the leg of the horse and now by doing horse trading, they want to break the leg of Uttarakhand.” Before the crisis unfolded, the Congress had 36 MLAs in the 70-member Assembly. The ruling party also has the support of 6 members of the Progressive Democratic Front, while opposition BJP has 28 MLAs.

Uttarakhand crisis: Ready to give rebel MLAs chance to accept mistake, will resign if I lose majority, says CM Harish Rawat

With the Congress government in crisis in Uttarakhand after nine party MLAs, including a minister, joined hands with the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party overnight, Chief Minister Harish Rawat on Saturday asserted that the welfare of the state was his priority and added that he would tender his resignation if he was not able to prove majority.Speaking to the media here, the Chief Minister stated that the rebel MLAs should have spoken to the Speaker or the Governor separately before taking such a colossal step, but added that he was ready to give time to the deflecting MLAs to accept their mistake and apologise for their actions.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Around four to five rebel MLAs are in touch with us now and I am giving them a chance to accept their mistakes. Their conduct was wrong and if they won’t accept it then action will be taken. So far, five of them have contacted me,” Rawat said.Adding that the Congress in the state was ready to prove majority in the House, he said that the ruckus created by the BJP after the adjournment was completely wrong and those who supported it were equally guilty.Lashing out at the BJP leaders for “misusing the central machinery”, he stated that the Opposition was making desperate attempts to get rid of the Congress government in the state.”Their schemes will fail for sure. I will prove my majority on the floor of the House. I am a democratic individual and the moment I lose my majority, I will offer my resignation. The BJP is flustered right now keeping 2019 in mind, which is why they are attacking our government,” Rawat said.Issuing a challenge to the rebel MLAs, he dared them to prove their majority in the House and not “run” to New Delhi.Meanwhile, following the massive upheaval, the Congress alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief Amit Shah, are drunk with power and are using sinister means to destabilise elected governments.Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala told ANI that the duo of Prime Minister Modi and the BJP president have now become infamous for forcible evacuation of elected governments in this country.”First, elected governments are destabilised by a sinister conspiracy and then they are sought to be unseated without the will of people. First Arunachal and now Uttarakhand. Modi ji and Amit Shah ji are trying to destablise Opposition’s government, particularly Congress Party’s government,” Surjewala said.As many as 26 BJP MLAs and nine rebel Congress legislators arrived in the national capital last night in their bid to topple the Harish Rawat-led Congress Government in Uttarakhand.A three-member delegation, comprising senior BJP leader Bhagat Singh Koshiyari, Uttarakhand in-charge Shyam Jaju and party general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya met Uttarakhand Governor K. K. Paul last night and demanded the dismissal of the Harish Rawat-led government while stating that it was in a minority.The BJP staked claim to form the government with the support of the rebel Congress MLAs.

Uttarakhand: BJP to stake claim to form govt in state, says Congress’ Harish Rawat led govt is in minority now

BJP members are saying that the party is set to stake claim to form government in Uttarakhand as Harish Rawat led govt is now in minority.”Alpmat mein sarkar aa gayi, sarkar hai kahan? Sarkar chali gayi, nayi sarkar ayegi ab (The government is in minority, a new government), said Bhagat Singh Koshyari, BJP MP on Uttarkhand crisis.As many as ten Congress legislators, besides BJP and BSP MLAs, are set to meet Governor KK Paul at Raj Bhawan on Friday evening after Speaker Govind Singh Kunjwal rejected their demand of voice vote on the Finance Bill. Earlier, a scuffle broke out between Uttarakhand Ministers Harak Singh Rawat and Mantri Prasad Nethani inside the state assembly over the demand for voice vote on the Finance Bill. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Assembly had witnessed an uproar after Speaker Govind Singh Kunjwal rejected the opposition’s demand for a voice vote on the Finance Bill, and passed it. Supporters of Harak Singh Rawat raised slogans in his support and were seen arguing with the Chief Minister’s supporters. The rebels are led by former chief minister Vijay Bahuguna and Agriculture Minister Harak Singh Rawat. The Congress currently has 36 seats in the 71-seat Uttarakhand Assembly. Reports claim that the Congress led-government in Uttarakhand is in a precarious situation, with 12 rebel Congress MLAs expected to cross vote during the Budget. The rebels are led by former chief minister Vijay Bahuguna and Agriculture Minister Harak Singh Rawat. The Congress currently has 36 seats in the 71-seat Uttarakhand Assembly.

Horse assault: Ready to face penalty if found guilty, says BJP MLA Ganesh Joshi

Bharatiya Janata Party MLA from Mussourie Ganesh Joshi on Wednesday said he is ready to face any penalty if he was found guilty for assaulting and severely injuring a horse that belonged to the Dehradun Police.”It is unfortunate. A sensitive issue like this in which an animal was hurt. This is wrong. The video is clubbed and fabricated. The news channel is showing all this fake video for TRP. I am innocent and I am ready to face any penalty if I am found guilty,” Joshi told ANI here.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The BJP MLA refuted all allegations and labelled the whole episode as a political conspiracy against him.”Police should have identified the person because of whom the horse fell, a proper probe should have had taken place. Those were two different incidents which have been clubbed and fabricated. I am very popular in my region, so my image is being maligned by these false allegations. If they (Congress) have to fight me, then fight with me politically not by using an injured animal,” he added.Fellow MLA Chandan Namdas also defended his colleague and said the horse was injured in a fall.Demanding an ‘unbiased’ probe on this matter, Namdas told ANI that horses were used to trample his party workers who were protesting against the Congress-led government in the state.The ghastly attack on the horse took place during a protest on Monday against Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat on Monday for ‘misuse’ of funds.The BJP MLA allegedly attacked the horse deployed to disperse the protesters during a protest against Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat.The protest took a violent turn when in a bid to dismount the rider the protesters charged at the horse with sticks and broke the animal’s leg.Joshi was allegedly seen in the video attacking the horse and other agitators supporting him in the effort.The horse underwent a surgical procedure to fix one of its hind legs.

Watch: BJP MLA Ganesh Joshi posts clip of horse attack, says ‘dictatorial’ Harish Rawat govt fabricated video

A horse deployed as part of mounted police was injured during a protest march by BJP to the state assembly on Tuesday with the ruling Congress alleging that it sustained injuries after being attacked by BJP’s Mussoorie MLA Ganesh Joshi, a charge denied by the opposition party. The incident happened during BJP’s march against “corruption and poor law and order” to the state assembly which was stopped at barricades put up by Uttarakhand police near Ripsana bridge, a few metres from the state assembly premises.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Hours after the incident, two videos, one of them purportedly showing the horse’s broken hind leg and the other showing the BJP legislator from Mussoorie attacking the horse with a lathi from the front, went viral sparking an allegation by Chief Minister Harish Rawat’s media in-charge Surendra Kumar that the animal had “fallen a victim to Joshi’s cruelty”. However. Joshi said that the horse was attacked by an unknown person and denied attacking the animal completely. He also blamed the media for spreading misinformation. “This video demonstrates the power of paid media and how gullible we are when it comes to believing things. This also shows how easy it is for the ruling party to manage the media and conveniently shift attention from relevant issues. Police officers rode on horses and chased the demonstrators. Normally this wouldn’t be seen except in emergency situations, but then again the Uttarakhand police has proved how vulnerable it is in front of the dictatorial State government led by Shri. Harish Rawat Ji. Most media channels have been circulating the news that I hit a horse and injured it. Please watch this video to know the truth. I strongly condemn the action of the youth involved in this video for pulling on the horse, making the poor animal lose his balance and fall, thus injuring himself. I apologize on his behalf as this is against my personal and the party’s principles. We belong to a party which is led by the likes of Maneka Gandhi and believe in treating animals like family. I urge you to take a moment to watch this video. I will continue to represent and fight for the interests of my constituents, humans and animals alike. These fabricated stories show the levels to which the State government of Uttarakhand will stoop to to grab public’s attention.” This video demonstrates the power of paid media and how gullible we are when it comes to believing things. This also…
Ganesh Joshi on Monday, March 14, 2016BJP spokesman Munna Singh Chauhan denied the charge claiming that the horse had got injured after one of its legs got stuck in a pothole. State BJP President Ajay Bhatt said he had not seen the videos and would not able to comment on the circumstances that may have led to injuries to the horse. The horse was part of mounted police deployed to control the protest march called by the opposition party to protest against the state government’s alleged failure on all fronts including law and order and corruption.

Infertility medicine issue: Probe report ‘not in favour’ of Baba Ramdev

Dehradun: The inquiry committee, set up by Uttarakhand government to examine the controversial infertility medicine produced by Ramdev‘s pharmacy, has submitted its report which is “not in favour” of the yoga guru.

The state government had formed the three-member committee last year to probe ‘Putrajeevak Beej’, an ayuvedic product which allegedly promises a male child.

The report has been sent to Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat and will be submitted to the Union government after he gives the go ahead, state’s Principal Secretary, Health, Om Prakash, said.

File photo of Baba Ramdev. PTIFile photo of Baba Ramdev. PTI

File photo of Baba Ramdev. PTI

“The inquiry report on Putrajeevak medicine is not in favour of Ramdev. The report has been sent to Chief Minister Harish Rawat,” Prakash said, while refusing to divulge the details.

The product courted controversy when on 1 May, Rajya Sabha MPs led by JD(U)’s K C Tyagi demanded a ban on it and sought stringent action against the manufacturer.

The Centre had then directed the Uttarakhand government to launch an inquiry into the matter.

However, Ramdev had rejected the allegations, saying the medicine helps in curing infertility in women and termed as “false and misleading” reports that it promises a male child.

The committee, which was earlier headed by AYUSH Drug Controller PD Chamoli, however, gave a clean chit to Ramdev, saying that the nomenclature of the drug was in accordance with the ancient Ayurvedic books and literature.

But, after the Chamoli committee report, the state government asked the DG Health and state law department to examine the matter and submit its report, which has turned out against Ramdev, Prakash added.

PTI

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