Centre defends imposition of President rule in Uttarakhand; no business in RS on day 2

The main Opposition Congress continued to lock horns with ruling NDA over the issue of imposition of President's rule in Uttarakhand on second consecutive day today in the Rajya Sabha with both the warring groups firmly digging in their heels in the matter. Uproar created by Congress members led to repeated adjournments, thrice in the morning and post lunch till 1500 hrs, and finally for the day but not before the House witnessed a fierce exchange of argument between Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad and Leader of the House Arun Jaitley. The Opposition raised a point of order against Mr Jaitley saying that the Leader of House has no right to question the authority of Speaker of the state Assembly. "If Mr Jaitley politely accepts that he was wrong when he named the Speaker here, the stalemate would be over in a minute," Mr Azad said. "I did not question the authority of Speaker," Mr Jaitley responded, adding that 35 out of 67 members of the Uttarakhand assembly had given in writing to the Governor(K K Paul) that they were against passing of the appropriation bill. Mr Jailtley said a defeated bill was declared as passed by the Speaker and this proves that there was breakdown of constitutional machinery in the state.

Accusing the Congress of not following the constitutional scheme of procedure, Mr Jaitley said after the imposition of President's rule a substantive motion is brought before both the Houses of Parliament and the government was duty bound to justify each point under which the proclamation was issued. "You can not have a discussion on this matter unless a substantive motion is brought," said Mr Jaitley. However, Mr Azad refuted Mr Jaitley saying that Governor of the state had asked Chief Minister Harish Rawat to prove his majority on the floor of the House, which he intended. "Central government did not wait for 24 hours and imposed President's rule before our chief minister could prove his majority," said Mr Azad, as his party Members took the cue and trooped into the Well chanting slogans, "loktantra ki hatya band karo", "Modi teri tanashahi...nahi chalegi, nahi chalegi". Sensing the mood of House Deputy Speaker P J Kurien adjourned the House till 1500 hrs.

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