Understand ABC of Uttarakhand Political Crisis: Timeline
Current News, dated 21 April, 2016: The Uttarakhand High Court, on Thursday, quashed the order of the Central government that had put the State under President’s Rule on March 27. The Uttarakhand High Court, on 21 April Thursday, nullified the order of the Central government that had put the State under President’s Rule on March 27, 2016.
News of 27 March, 2016: President’s Rule has been imposed in Uttarakhand a day before the crucial trust vote in the state assembly for the Harish Rawat government.
News of March 19, 2016: The four-year-old Congress government in Uttarakhand was in a crisis late on Friday with nine party MLAs raising a banner of revolt and backed BJP which staked claim to form a government. Harish Rawat government became in a minority.The Congress had a strength of 36 MLAs in the 70-member Uttarakhand Assembly. The ruling party also has the support of 6 members of the Progressive Democratic Front, while the BJP has 28 MLAs.
News of March 25, 2016: Uttarakhand’s Governor came into limelight. Governor K K Paul has asked Harish Rawat to prove his majority by March 28. That should be done logically. Governor should not give so much time to the Chief Minister to prove majority that the Speaker gets an opportunity to disqualify the MLAs. The Governor should have issued directions that status quo be maintained and no action be taken against the MLAs until the trust vote.
News of March 27, 2016: The political situation in Uttarakhand turned murkier on 27 March with rebel Congress MLAs alleging they were offered money by Chief Minister Harish Rawat to back his government during the floor test on Monday. The rebels released a video which they claimed was a sting operation.
Violation of Constitution: 67 members, excluding the Speaker, were present, of whom 35 wanted a division of votes on the Appropriation Bill. The division of votes, he said, was sought in writing in advance by the 35 members who also voted against the Bill. However, Speaker Govind Singh Kunjwal showed the legislation as passed. Speaker maintained had been passed by a voice vote.
Uttarakhand was brought under President’s rule by the Centre on grounds of “breakdown of governance” in a controversial decision which comes in the wake of a political crisis triggered by a rebellion in the ruling Congress.
Which order UK High Court passed today (21 April, 2016)?
The order, which has reinstated Harish Rawat as the chief minister of the state, came after the court, earlier on Thursday, said it would be a “travesty of justice” if the Centre recalls its order imposing President’s rule in the state and allows someone else to form a government now.
Now we will talk what is Art 356?
Article 356 empowers the president to issue a proclamation of President’s rule in the state in case of ‘failure of constitutional machinery’ in the state. Such a failure includes the following circumstances:
1. Elections cannot be held as scheduled for any reason
2. Elections were held but the assembly is hung, no party secures clear majority
3. Party that secured a majority is unwilling to form ministry and a coalition cannot be formed
4. Ministries resigned after suffering a vote of no confidence and no clear political successor emerges
5. Internal subversion where govt. is deliberately not doing its duty
6. Failure to comply with centre’s constitutional directives
7. Wilful refusal to discharge constitutional duty.
Some more important articles you may know.
President’s rule in any state like:-
1)Article 356-If constitutional machinery fails in state.
2)Article 365 If state fails to comply with direction of central government.
3)Article 174(1) If there is a gap of more than 6 months between two sittings of assembly.
The BJP now says that they will fight it out in the Supreme Court and will not change their position.
My view:- The judiciary is becoming increasingly authoritarian and dictatorial. It bodes ill for a democracy when an unelected, unrepresentative, unaccountable branch takes so much power into its own hands – absolute power corrupts absolutely!