President rule in Uttarakhand a murder of democracy: Rawat

Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat on Sunday condemned the imposition of President’s rule in the state as a “murder” of democracy and the Constitution and said Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s hands were dipped in the “blood” of the “trampled” aspirations of the people.

Alleging that central rule was a result of a “premeditated conspiracy” hatched by the Centre to dislodge a democratically elected Congress government in the state, Rawat also said the BJP was “thirsty for his blood” right from the day he assumed office on February one, 2014 and did not want his government to stabilise.

“It is a murder of democracy and the Constitution. Modi’s hands are dipped in the blood of the trampled aspirations of the people of Uttarakhand,” Rawat said at his first news conference in Dehradun after the imposition of President’s rule capping the ten-day long political upheaval in Uttarakhand after nine Congress rebels raised a banner of revolt against him and supported BJP.

“What has happened is the result of a premeditated conspiracy hatched by the Centre to dislodge a democratically elected Congress government in the state,” he alleged, adding there was a “propaganda blast” against him by raking up issues relating to alleged corruption.

Claiming that he had clear majority in the state assembly, Rawat said it was part of a conspiracy by the BJP to impose president’s rule even before giving the state government a chance to go for a floor test in the House.

The four-year-old Congress government was slated to go for floor test in the state assembly on Monday.

Rawat alleged that there was a money deal to lure the Congress rebels, adding “some people say it is Rs 1,000 crore, some say Rs 500 crore”.

He said BJP had decided not to let his government stabilise from the day he took over and “slashed my head” as the first opportunity presented itself.

“The way we were being given repeated threats since yesterday, the way the governor was publicly issued a threat at a press conference in Delhi it was clear things were moving towards this eventuality. That BJP was thirsty for my blood was clear from day one. They had decided  at the very outset that they won’t let Harish Rawat government stabilise,” he added.

Accusing the Centre of always being step-motherly in its treatment of Uttarakhand as it was a Congress governed state, Rawat claimed it did not release money for reconstruction in Kedarnath and Ardhkumbh forcing a disaster-hit state to manage its affairs out of its own limited resources.

“What has happened in Uttarakhand is also the murder of Baba Sahab Bhimrao Ambedkar’s vision on the Constitution maker’s 125th birth anniversary year.

Before the Central rule was imposed, Rawat accused BJP of attacking democracy with money and muscle power to dislodge his four-year-old Congress government.

Rawat earlier had said the Centre was threatening the state with President’s rule whereas “(Prime Minister Narendra) Modi projects himself as a votary of democratic federalism and autonomy of states”.

Accusing the Centre of engineering defections in Congress in Uttarakhand by taking advantage of a “money greedy minister” and rebel like Harak Singh Rawat and the wounded political ambition of former CM Vijay Bahuguna to dislodge his government, Rawat said he will go to people’s court now and ask them to decide whether they deserved President’s rule.

“Most upsetting was that I had to make compromise with such a leader (Harak Singh Rawat) who used to value money above everything,” he said.

Rawat said that the fact that the state government decided to bring legislation to seize unnamed properties only stimulated the process. “Harak Singh ji came to me twice and asked me not to bring legislation to seize unnamed properties,” he added.

“Despite the fact that Uttarakhand gave five MPs to BJP-led government at the Centre, it chose to give the state the “gifts” of defection and President’s rule. I would go to the people of the state and ask them whether what they have been handed is what they were looking for,” he said.

Rawat also targeted the private news channel whose editor-in-chief had done the sting operation on him saying the huge amount of wealth allegedly amassed by him should be looked into.