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India’s government imposed central rule on the Himalayan state of Uttarakhand on Sunday, the second time this year it has removed an opposition-led state leadership using a controversial emergency law. The decision to declare President’s Rule...

Indian government imposes central rule on state of Uttarakhand

India’s government imposed central rule on the Himalayan state of Uttarakhand on Sunday, the second time this year it has removed an opposition-led state leadership using a controversial emergency law. The decision to declare President’s Rule...

Indian government imposes central rule on state of Uttarakhand

India’s government imposed central rule on the Himalayan state of Uttarakhand on Sunday, the second time this year it has removed an opposition-led state leadership using a controversial emergency law.

The decision to declare President’s Rule triggered a furious row in parliament where Congress, the main opposition party, accused prime minister Narendra Modi’s BJP of undermining democracy for its own political advantage.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi  Photo: EPA/STR, File

"The BJP-led central government was thirsty for me and my government's blood from day one since I assumed office in February 2014," said Harish Rawat, the state’s sacked Congress chief minister.

Abhishek Singhvi, a Congress spokesman, called the move a “murder of democracy”.

President Pranab Mukherjee sacked the Uttarakhand leadership on the recommendation of Mr Modi’s government after nine local Congress MPs rebelled against their own chief minister, leaving Mr Rawat short of a majority.

President Pranab Mukherjee  Photo: REUTERS/B Mathur, File

Arun Jaitley, the BJP’s powerful finance minister, denied any political motive, describing the “breakdown of governance” in Uttarakhand as a “text-book case” for enforcing President's Rule.

"I believe there cannot be a better example. For the last nine days, the Constitution was being violated in Uttarakhand," he said.

It is the second time this year that a Congress-led state government has been dismissed following the defection of its members.

Murder of democracy in utt cos neither ruling of speaker nor vote on house floor has occurred yet pres rule pre-emptively imposed

— Abhishek Singhvi (@DrAMSinghvi) March 27, 2016

In Arunachal Pradesh, another Himalayan state in India’s northeastern, rebel Congress MPs joined forces with BJP members to ultimately form a new state government.

Rahul Gandhi, the Congress vice-president, last week alleged that “toppling elected governments by indulging in horse trading and blatant misuse of money and muscle seems to be BJP's new model’.

President’s Rule allows a centrally appointed state governor to temporarily replace the elected state government if the latter is no longer able to function.

It has long been open to abuse. Indira Gandhi’s government used the law 39 times during her first period in office, usually to remove opposition-led state governments.

Rules were tightened by the Supreme Court in 1994 to prevent its misuse.

Uttarakhand lies in the north of India, and is best known to Westerners for the famous yoga retreat at Rishikesh, close to the ashram famously visited by the Beatles in 1968.

Our editors found this article on this site using Google and regenerated it for our readers.

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