‘Centre on sticky wicket over President’s Rule in Uttarakhand’

New Delhi, April 1 (IANS) The central government is on a sticky wicket over its decision to impose President’s Rule in Uttarakhand, Congress sources said here on Friday.

The sources insisted that state governor Krishan Kant Paul had not recommended the dismissal of the Harish Rawat-led government in his report.

“Nowhere in his report has the governor recommended President’s Rule under Article 356 of the constitution,” said a Congress leader in the know about the cases pending in the Uttarakhand High Court.

“In fact, the governor never revoked his order for the government to go for a floor test in the assembly. He had written in this regard thrice, recommending a floor test for the government,” said the Congress leader who did not wish to be named.

He accused the Bharatiya Janata Party of negating the authority of the governor.

“The central government is standing on a sticky wicket technically,” the Congress leader said.

He also claimed that the nine rebel Congress MLAs were disqualified by the assembly speaker before the imposition of President’s Rule.

“All the nine MLAs were served with disqualification notices in their hostels and constituency offices by 2.45 p.m. on March 27. The information was gazetted by 4.45 p.m. the same day while the notification regarding the President’s Rule came in between 5.30 p.m. and 5.45 p.m.,” he said.

The Congress leader said the disqualification of the MLAs gets applied retrospectively once it gets notified.

“Thus, their disqualification will be applicable from March 19,” he said.

BJP leaders, including Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, had justified President’s Rule in the hill state.

“After the assembly has been put under suspended animation and the decision has been made public, the speaker (Govind Singh Kunjwal) has decided to disqualify some members. The constitutional breakdown has been compounded further by this action,” Jaitley wrote in his blog.

The Uttarakhand political crisis began when nine Congress legislators, including former chief minister Vijay Bahuguna, whom Rawat replaced, revolted against the chief minister and turned to the BJP.

In the 70-member assembly, the Congress has 36 legislators, including the nine rebels. The BJP has 28. The other six from smaller parties are said to support the Congress.

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