Harish Rawat meets Rahul; says ready for elections

Harish Rawat meets Rahul; says ready for elections

Harish Rawat meets Rahul; says ready for elections

 Ousted Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat on Thursday met Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi, the first such meeting after the hill state plunged into political crisis last month.

 Rawat is learnt to have told Rahul that he was ready to face elections if the state assembly is dissolved prematurely following his legal challenge to the imposition of President’s Rule in Uttarakhand.

 The Congress-led government plunged into a crisis on March 18 after a controversial passage of the state Budget in the assembly where party rebels, including the then Agriculture Minister Harak Singh Rawat claiming to have voted against it.

 Nine Congress MLAs, including Harak Singh Rawat, then joined hands with the BJP and claiming that the state government was in a minority.

 The state was placed under President’s Rule on March 27, a day before Rawat was asked to prove his majority on the floor of the House.

 After meeting Rahul, Rawat said he had full backing of the party’s central leadership that stood by him in the crisis.

 Rawat’s case is coming up for hearing in the High Court of Uttarakhand on April 18. However, the Congress’ legal team believes that the Centre would try to delay the High Court decision on the matter by furthering arguments to ensure that the state remains under President’s Rule.

Rawat dared the BJP to hold fresh elections and said he was confident that the people of the state will not forget the conspiracy hatched by the Centre to dismiss his government.

“If they have the courage, they should face the people but they will not do so as they are neither confident of getting people's support nor they have any confidence left in Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” he said. Asked whether he is hopeful of proving his majority on the floor of the House if he is given such an opportunity by the court, Rawat claimed the backing of all “secular forces” in the state.

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