Sting operation on Harish Rawat seals Congress fate in Uttarakhand

  • Rajesh Ahuja, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Mar 28, 2016 11:21 IST
Dehradun: Chief Minister Harish Rawat addresses a press conference in Dehradun on Saturday. PTI Photo (PTI3_26_2016_000081B) (PTI)

A sting operation on chief minister Harish Rawat sealed the fate of the Congress government in Uttarakhand before it could take Monday’s scheduled floor test in the assembly to prove its majority.

Read more: What’s next as Congress, BJP slug it out in Uttarakhand?

A senior government official, who didn’t wish to be named, told Hindustan Times on Sunday that governor KK Paul mentioned in his report to the Union home ministry the sting on Rawat, which brought into question the fairness of floor test.

“The home ministry received the five-page report at 8pm, necessitating an emergency meeting of the Union cabinet late on Saturday.”

The Congress government of Rawat, who took the hot seat in 2014 after an intense intra-party power struggle, was dismissed and President’s rule was imposed on Sunday after days of political crisis in the hill state as nine dissident lawmakers joined the rival BJP to stake claim to power.

Read more: Centre imposes President’s rule in Uttarakhand a day before floor test

On Saturday, the 69-yearold chief minister was shown in sting operation aired by an Uttarakhand channel striking an alleged multi-crore rupees deal to bribe the rebels back into the party. The editor-in-chief of Samachar Plus channel, Umesh Kumar, conducted the sting.

The state’ s governor had sent three reports to the ministry on the crisis but it was not clear if he dispatched his final report on his own or he was nudged by the Centre to do so.

“The first report was basically a factual report of the political situation in the state. In the second, the governor shed light on the politically-volatile situation. But the third report came after the sting operation and it tilted the scales against the Rawat government,” the official said.

The Union cabinet on Saturday discussed the crisis at length and arrived at a “consensus”, the home ministry official said.

Besides the sting, the governor apparently mentioned other issues to give a comprehensive picture of the state’s political scenario.

“The report mentioned allegations of horse-trading of MLAs and indicated a governance collapse,” the official said.

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