LS passes Uttarakhand budget

LS passes Uttarakhand budget

The Lok Sabha on Monday passed the Uttarakhand budget, which is under the President’s rule for four months, amid the Opposition questioning the “hurry” to clear it.

The move came on the eve of court-directed floor test that may eventually bring a government in the state.

The Congress staged a walkout before the House passed the bill, describing the move as “unconstitutional” even though Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley told the House that it was necessary to avoid a constitutional crisis.

The minister said the Centre had to chip in and sanction money to the state for meeting its expenditure for 2016-17 since “there was a serious doubt and cloud” the budget approved by the Assembly on March 18.

Following a Supreme Court direction, the President’s Rule will be suspended for two hours on Tuesday in Uttarakhand to allow the Harish Rawat government to seek trust vote.

The Narendra Modi-led Centre came under criticism for “using” and “misusing” Article 356 to dismiss the Congress governments in Arunachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand, with the Congress’s Gaurav Gogoi alleging that the Centre was destabilising smaller states to get into power since he cannot do that electorally.

Moving the Appropriation Bill and statement of estimated receipts and expenditure of the state in the Lok Sabha, Jaitley said its passage will not impact the Vote of Confidence which will take place in the Assembly on Tuesday.

Jaitley argued that the government of whichever party wins trust vote will be within its powers to get its own budget passed by the Assembly. He sought budget only for four months to meet any eventuality.

He argued that the day of budget presentation in Uttarakhand Assembly, 27 members gave in writing to Speaker seeking voting on the budget and 36 on record showed their lack of faith in the Harish Rawat government to the governor.

Jaitley defends Centre

“Democracy means rule by majority, if majority fails the budget, can a govt continue even for a minute. Answer is No,” Jaitley said in defence of the Centre’s intervention.

BJD’s Kalikesh Singh Deo, too, opposed the President’s Rule stating that it had its roots in the British Raj and has often been misused.

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