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Will hold fast if Centre attempts to annul Appropriation Bill, says Harish Rawat

Dehradun: Congress leader Harish Rawat today said he will hold a 24-hour fast if any attempt is made by the Centre to annul the Appropriation Bill "passed" by the state Assembly on its annual budget for 2016-17 after reports suggested that such a move may be afoot.

Claiming that the legislation was tabled and passed by the elected House in accordance with Parliamentary norms, Rawat said, "I have learnt from newspaper reports that there is an effort by the Centre to cancel the Appropriation Bill.

File image of Harish Rawat. PTI

File image of Harish Rawat. PTI

"We want to warn the Centre that the people of the state will not tolerate any such move as it is a document reflecting their aspirations. I will observe a 24-hour fast if any such attempt is made by the BJP-led Union government," he said.

Constitutional provisions were strictly followed in the tabling and passage of the Bill, the Congress leader said, adding that any move to overturn or annul it would be an insult to the Assembly, which was in existence on 18 March and is still in existence despite being in suspended animation.

"As the threat to annul the legislation has come from the Union Finance Minister (Arun Jaitley), we take it very seriously and warn that the people of the state will not let him throw a legislation passed by the state Assembly into the dustbin," Rawat said.

He alleged that there was a BJP conspiracy to obstruct the implementation of the schemes and programmes meant for people at the grassroots, funds for whom had been earmarked in the budget.

Citing constitutional provisions, Rawat said the passage of the appropriation Bill was the exclusive right of the state Assembly and it cannot be challenged.

Jaitley had said that the Appropriation Bill had failed in the Assembly as a majority of the MLAs had sought a division of votes on it which, however, was disallowed.

The failure of the Appropriation Bill leaves the state without any approved financial expenditure with effect from 1 April, 2016, and that is a "breakdown of Constitution", he had said.

Meanwhile, Uttarakhand High Court today ordered a floor test in the Assembly on 31 March, giving a new turn to the political events in the state where President's Rule was imposed on Sunday after nine Congress MLAs rebelled.

Although they can participate in the trial of strength, the votes of the disqualified legislators will be kept separate.


Updated Date: Mar 29, 2016 15:44 PM

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