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Congress, BJP Spar as Uttarakhand HC Revokes President's Rule

Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat thanked the High Court for revoking President's rule in the state. (File Photo/Getty)

Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat thanked the High Court for revoking President's rule in the state. (File Photo/Getty)

Blaming the Centre for the Uttarakhand political crisis, Harish Rawat alleged that there was horse trading in the state and a "popular government was dethroned".

While the Congress rejoiced after the Uttarakhand High Court on Thursday set aside President's rule imposed by Centre in the state, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was guarded in its response. Ruling against the imposition of President's rule, the court said that proclamation imposing Article 356 dated March 27 stands quashed and status quo as on the date of the proclamation will be restored. The High Court also ordered that the floor test would be held on April 29.

Shortly after the court's order, both the Congress and the BJP targeted each other for the political crisis in Uttarakhand.

The Congress alleged that there had never been "such blatant interference through the misuse of Article 356". The BJP reiterated that the Harish Rawat government was in minority in the state.

Addressing a press conference in Dehradun, Chief Minister Harish Rawat said, "I thank the high court for keeping faith intact in judiciary. We are fighting this battle with the support of the people."

Blaming the Centre for the political crisis, Rawat alleged that there was horse trading in the state and a "popular government was dethroned".

"I want to appeal to the Centre to support and cooperate with the state government because the state has already suffered a lot," he added.

Meanwhile, BJP leader Kailash Vijayvargiya reiterated that the Rawat government was still in minority, expressing confidence that the party would prove majority during the floor test in state Assembly on April 29.

Claiming that the BJP was not "surprised" by the order of the High Court, Vijayvargiya said that they were going through the high court order to decide on further course of action.

Earlier on Thursday, the High Court came down heavily on the Centre, observing that the BJP had a direct interest in the imposition of President's rule in the state and so its letter on March 26 to President Pranab Mukherjee saying "there is a breakdown of constitutional machinery in the state is of no relevance at all and is not material to the imposition".

"Central government's role in imposition of Article 356 has to be completely non partisan and it cannot adopt an interest as an interested party," observed KM Joseph, the Chief Justice of Uttarakhand High Court.

The judgement came on a petition filed by former chief minister Harish Rawat whose government was dismissed by the Centre on March 27.

first published:April 21, 2016, 17:03 IST