The BJP has pulled out all stops to portray Harish Rawat as the villain of Uttarakhand politics, but that didn’t stop the Congress leader from playing the protagonist in a real-life rendition of the Anil Kapoor-starrer ‘Nayak’ – the tale of the one-day chief minister.
In the 2001 film -- a remake of Tamil movie Mudhalvan -- Kapoor charms audiences with rapid-fire decisions as a chief minister who battles a host of problems afflicting the people of his state. A journalist by profession, Kapoor takes up a challenge thrown at him by Amrish Puri to make a difference from his CM’s chair within a day.
Rawat’s second stint as the Uttarakhand chief minister on Thursday barely lasted 24 hours, the shortest in India’s history. But during that period, Rawat held two cabinet meetings and took 11 populist decisions indicating that his party could be getting ready for snap polls.
Almost everything about the way in which Rawat made his comeback to the CM chair and vacated it was as dramatic as the movie.
If you think drawing a parallel between Rawat and Kapoor is outlandish, think again. In 2014, Rawat said he was inspired by Kapoor’s character in ‘Nayak’. “Inspired by the role of Anil Kapoor in the film ‘Nayak’, I inaugurated more than 1,800 schemes in a single day.”
On Thursday, Rawat’s longstanding inspiration of bringing ‘Nayak’ to life came true. Here is his tumultuous journey since the beginning of the Uttarakhand political crisis and his one-day stint as the CM, in GIFs:
Betrayal from within
Rawat’s troubles began when nine MLAs of his party backed the BJP. The rebel lawmakers – led by former chief minister Vijay Bahuguna – supported the BJP legislators’ demand for a conscience vote at the assembly’s budget session on March 18.
Licking his wounds
A day after his government was removed, Rawat moved the Uttarakhand high court, challenging the imposition of President’s Rule in the state. He also paraded 34 MLAs before Governor KK Paul to claim he had majority in the assembly.
Not afraid of getting down and dirty
The rebel Congress MLAs released a video of ‘sting’ operation purportedly showing Rawat offering them bribes for support during a floor test in the assembly. Rawat said the “unholy alliance” led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah was behind the ‘sting’.
Clinching the coveted CM post for a day
In a big blow to the BJP-led central government, the Uttarakhand high court on Thursday set aside President’s Rule in the state, restoring Rawat as the chief minister, nearly a month after he was ousted.
The ‘Nayak’ journey begins, and ends
Hours after Rawat resumed charge on Thursday, the Uttarakhand cabinet gave its nod to several proposals including re-appointment of more than 6,000 temporary teachers on a monthly stipend of Rs 15,000.
Before the meeting, Rawat also sat on a token strike in support of the teachers, whose appointments were revoked by the governor.
Besides, the former chief minister hiked all social pensions by Rs 200, a move which will benefit nearly seven lakh people. Officials said the hike will put an additional burden of Rs 13.5 crores on the exchequer.
The cabinet also brought in two ordinances on land consolidation and regularisation of slums, also likely to benefit a large number of people. The Rawat government had failed to pass the two bills on land consolidation and regularisation after nine Congress MLAs sided with the BJP during the assembly’s budget session in March.
Officials said the cabinet cleared allocation of Rs 5 crore each to all the 13 districts in the state, set up a committee under the finance minister for revision of circle rates of land and decided that all state-run colleges will function in morning and evening shifts.
However, Rawat’s stint as the CM ended on Friday when the Supreme Court ordered that the Uttarakhand high court’s verdict removing President’s Rule be kept in abeyance till April 27.