Harish Rawat must resign, says BJP chief

Updated - November 17, 2021 05:12 am IST

Published - March 27, 2016 01:27 am IST - JAIPUR:

Two days before the Congress government of Chief Minister Harish Rawat has to prove its majority, Uttarakhand BJP president Ajay Bhatt, who is camping here with 26 other BJP MLAs, has said Mr. Rawat’s “fascist rule” has led to political instability in the State.

“Imagine being an MLA of the Chief Minister’s party and unable to speak to him without approval from some middlemen. It is stifling,” he said on Saturday. This was the condition of the nine MLAs who rebelled against their own government.

On March 18, nine Congress MLAs, including the former Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna, rebelled.

Mr. Bhatt clarified that the BJP had no intention of splitting the Congress. “The Congress in Uttarakhand is already divided. On March 18, we asked for a division of votes [and not just a voice vote] on the Money Bill, and nine Congress MLAs stood against their party. We were only exercising our constitutional right as an Opposition party, and there’s nothing unethical about it.”

Recently, Uttarakhand Pradesh Congress Committee president Kishore Upadhyaya alleged that yoga guru Baba Ramdev had engineered the rift in the party. Ramdev has denied the charge. Mr. Bhatt said: “Baba Ramdev has no role to play in the ongoing political crisis.”

On Saturday, a sting video emerged. It purported to show the Chief Minister discussing the amount of money that could be offered to the rebel MLAs to bring them back to the party. “The Chief Minister had accused the BJP of indulging in horse-trading, but the video shows he is involved in it and not the BJP. And he must step down,” Mr. Bhatt said.

Mr. Bhatt was confident that the Congress would not be able to prove its majority in the Assembly on March 28. But he did not make it clear whether the BJP would try to form a government. “We don’t aim at forming our government at this stage. If the Congress fails to prove its majority, President’s Rule will be imposed on the State. Thereafter, we will decide what we should do…”

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