DEHRADUN: Uttarakhand chief minister Harish Rawat says he will mobilise the state’s resources to push for speedy growth instead of depending on the BJP-led Centre for financial support, once the Congress returns to power.
“We are confident of forming the next government…This time we will generate our own resources to push for the state’s development,” Rawat says.
He says the decision was prompted by his experience last year when the Centre not only tried to topple his government but also deprived it of the annual state budget for five months.
Rawat says he has a clear vision about how he will mobilise the state’s resources to facilitate unhampered development. “I have already arranged funds so that our employees continue to get their salaries until April,” Rawat tells Hindustan Times.
“It is quite an achievement at a time when a number of state governments in the country are facing financial crunch.”
The real challenge for his government will begin once the Congress is re-elected in the assembly polls, the results of which will be out on March 11, he says.
“It will be a big challenge as people will place a huge responsibility on our shoulders by getting us reelected,” he says.
The enormous task of fulfilling the people’s aspirations for development will be a far bigger challenge for us than the political crisis we faced when the BJP-led Centre toppled the Congress by foisting President’s rule on the state, he says.
“The move failed to stand in the court of law as my government was reinstated by a Supreme Court monitored floor test in June last year.”
Rawat says the President’s rule was imposed on the flimsy ground of a sting video showing him offering bribes to dissident legislators to save his government. “If the President’s rule failed to stand in the court of law, how can the sting video on the basis of which it was imposed in the state be legally justified?” he questions.
“The BJP-led Centre ordered a CBI inquiry against me on the ground of a sting video just to harass me.”
Rawat says the people of Uttarakhand will give the BJP a “befitting reply in the assembly election for its acts of toppling his government, the CBI inquiry against him and for keeping the state deprived of its budget”.
“Those actions were the assaults on Uttarakhadiyat (the state’s culture and identity) that my party and I represent.
“The people will, therefore, show the BJP its place in the assembly election,” says Rawat.
“We have a roadmap ready for strengthening the state’s economy that has helped in reducing forced migration from the hills by 32%. We will resume its (roadmap) execution once we are voted to power.”