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President's Rule in Uttarakhand: Constitutionally valid but against the spirit of Federal democracy
Imposing President's Rule in Uttarakhand a day before scheduled trust vote definitely raises questions over the intention of the central government. Arunachal Pradesh case is understandable but in Uttarakhand case it appears to be a hurried decision with vested interest.

It's undeniable that the speaker of the Uttarakhand Assembly was biased and his acts were in gross violation of Constitutional provisions, but the way Modi government acted is against any democratic norm and clearly violation of the spirit of federalism.

I concede that S.R. Bommai case is not applicable here because trust vote and imposing President's Rule are two different things. The Bommai case deals with trust vote, which says that floor test is the only way for assessing whether government has lost the majority or not. The imposing of President's Rule is as per article 356, which can be applied irrespective of the fact whether a state government has lost majority or not.

The idea of imposing the President's Rule might have intent of establishing BJP government in Uttarakhand. I will not be surprised if BJP presents its claim of forming the government in couple of days. Despite of all wrong doings of Harish Rawat-led government and Speaker's unconstitutional dictate, the central government should have waited till court intervenes in the matter of disqualification of 9 Congress MLAs. I think PM Narendra Modi is ill advised in this case that would definitely puncture his claim of wishing federalism.

On the other hand the Congress has to blame itself for the Uttarakhand fiasco. They scream that democracy is murdered by BJP-led government. Till date 113 President's Rules have been imposed (total 124 times out of which 11 times are due to valid reasons). The Congress government at centre imposed President's Rule for more than hundred times. Hasn't it also murdered the Constitution for long?

In Uttarakhand case also constitutionally the government lost because of the budget, which couldn't be passed in the assembly. The speaker has no power to over-rule a division demand. It recorded the demand for division but overruled officially. Can any Congress man answer how's that Constitutional? Hadn't Harish Rawat government lost its legality on that day?

The Congress can question how the central cabinet arrived at a hurried decision to impose the President's rule. At the same time it should also answer why speaker called the rebel MLAs a day before trust vote just to disqualify them. And what's the ground for disqualification? Is it because they had gone against the party whip to support the budget? If yes, then their disqualification is valid and at the same time Harish Rawat government too had fallen. The speaker just can't dismiss the MLAs acting like a party president.

Congress's blame is that BJP has toppled the elected government. But then it's the Congress MLAs who rebelled. Isn't it fault of Congress high command that couldn't control their MLAs? You can't hold your MLAs but blame others for their rebellion? How it's logical? After all, Congress party has not yet reduced to a small political outfit whose MLAs can jump at their whims.

What about the sting which was confirmed 'not doctored' by Chandigarh FSL? Apart from the sting, Harish Rawat himself alleged that the rebel Hirak Rawat had misappropriated hugely. Isn't it a fact that Harish Rawat had a blind eyes for sake of power and his colleagues simply looted the state?

Point is simple, if Congress couldn't manage it's home, others like BJP will take advantage. After all, no party is in politics for doing charity. Instead of blaming BJP or central government, Congress vice president must have introspected why his MLAs are rebelling day in day out. Is their leadership problem with Rahul Gandhi? If he didn't correct his leadership, no doubt Congress is set to end up in oblivion in the days to come.

Having said thus, I once again reiterate my stand that BJP government might be technically right in imposing the President Rule in Uttarakhand, but it lost its credibility as supporter of true federalism. Imitating Congress strategy in intervening in state affairs definitely sends a wrong message. Narendra Modi should be very careful in dealing with these delicate situations as people of India sees a statesman in him and not a power hungry politician. Hope good sense will prevail on him and his party.  

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of merinews.com. In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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