Harish Rawat govt was unconstitutional: 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.
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.
Jaitley said Governor K K Paul had also mentioned that he had “serious doubts” over what happened in the Assembly on March 18.