After referring to the political situation in Uttarakhand is a "textbook example of breakdown of governance" on Sunday, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley took to Facebook on Monday to have his say on the goings-on in the state.
Even as Congress cried foul, the Centre justified imposition of President's Rule in Uttarakhand, saying the Harish Rawat government was "unconstitutional" and "immoral" since 18 March when the "failed" Appropriation Bill was shown as passed.
He had previously pointed out that the Appropriation Bill was declared passed by the Speaker in the Assembly on 18 March when 35 MLAs out of 67 had written to him in advance that they would be voting against it.
Referring to the present situation, Jaitley wrote in a Facebook post titled 'A State without a Budget':
This leaves the State without any approved financial expenditure with effect from 1 April, 2016. What better evidence do we need of a breakdown of Constitution? The Congress government of Uttarakhand was murdering democracy every day from the 18 March till 27 March.
It is now incumbent upon the Central government to ensure that steps are taken under Article 357 to authorise expenditure of the state with effect from 1 April, 2016.
While referring to 18 March, 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.
"That was the first violation of Constitution," he said.
Citing other reasons for dismissing the government, he spoke about the "hard evidence" of Rawat offering allurements to win over MLAs to change the composition of House, discriminatory use of anti-defection law by the Speaker with regard to his action against rebel MLAs of BJP and Congress.
Jaitley said Governor K K Paul had also mentioned that he had "serious doubts" over what happened in the Assembly on March 18 and said his report played a key role in the Cabinet's decision.
Asked about criticsm, especially by BJP, of the Governor's decision to give Rawat nine days to prove his majority, he said there was no reason for him to arrive at such a conclusion after going through his report.
The Governor had repeated asked the Chief Minister to convene the Assembly in two-three days for floor test but he deliberately prolonged it by insisting that he would do so only on March 28, Jaitley said.
"He wanted to use the time period for allurement, horse-trading to change the composition of the House...During each of the nine days, provisions of the Constitution were violated," the Union Minister said.
About the sting operation against Rawat, he said, "This is the first time that there is hard evidence about horse-trading by a Chief Minister who has been caught on camera."
On the Congress charge that BJP was destablising its governments, he said the opposition party should put its House in order as it was a crisis created by Congress itself. "There was rebellion in Congress as the party high command had been refusing to even meet their leaders," he said.
Read the Union finance minister's full post below:
First Published On : Mar 28, 2016 18:20 IST