With the Centre imposing President's Rule in Uttarakhand on Sunday on the grounds of "breakdown of governance", Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat claimed in a press conference that the BJP-led Central government has wanted to destabilise his government from the start.
"BJP-led Central government pahle din se hi mere aur meri sarkar ke khun ki pyaasi thi," ANI quoted him as saying.
However, Arun Jaitley, who also held a press conference at the same time as Rawat, rubbished the allegation saying that the imposition of President's Rule was according to Constitutional provisions.
"We are not to blame; Congress party and leadership are to blame," said Jaitley.
The decision to impose President's Rule comes in the wake of a political crisis triggered by a rebellion in the ruling Congress.
The state Assembly is now in suspended animation. President Pranab Mukherjee signed the proclamation under Article 356 of the Constitution on Sunday morning.
The recommendation for central rule was made by the Union Cabinet at its emergency meeting on Saturday night, chaired by PM Narendra Modi who cut short his visit to Assam. After the Cabinet meeting, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley briefed the President late Saturday night.
The Cabinet considered several reports received from Governor KK Paul, who had described the political situation as volatile and expressed apprehensions over possible pandemonium during the scheduled trial of strength in the state Assembly on Monday. The dismissal of the Rawat government however now renders Monday's confidence vote infructuous.
Rawat had earlier said that imposition of President's rule in Uttarakhand will be a murder of democracy and that it is not acceptable in a parliamentary system. Rawat had also accused the BJP of attacking democracy with money and muscle power in its bid to dislodge his four-year-old Congress government.
Rejecting suggestions that there is a division within Congress that has led to the current crisis, Rawat had said, "We do not have any internal tussle. It is BJP and RSS which are hobnobbing with the Congress rebels to create the crisis."
Nine Congress MLAs had raised the banner of revolt against Rawat.
The chief minister had also said that Congress will take the attempts to destablise his government to the people of the state and that it will be up to them to decide whether "sting" and defections will determine the future of the state.
Claiming that the video CD of a purported sting operation, circulated by the rebel Congress MLAs, was fake, Rawat on Saturday had also cast doubt about the credentials of the man behind it and demanded a probe into his antecedents.
"The sting CD being shown on the news channels is fake. The reputation of the man behind it who is associated with a private news channel is not hidden from anyone. His antecedents must be probed," Rawat had said at a hurriedly-called press conference at his residence in Dehradun, soon after the sting CD was released before the media in Delhi.
Even though he called the video "false", Rawat had said if at all it indicates something, it is that the rebel MLAs have aligned with BJP for money.
With inputs from PTI