BJP will think twice before imposing Article 356: Harish Rawat

New Delhi: Reinstated as the chief minister of Uttarakhand, Harish Rawat said the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) would think twice before imposing President’s Rule under Article 356 in any state.

“What was the need to impose President’s Rule in the state? The floor test in Uttarakhand has taught BJP a lesson. It will now think twice before imposing Article 356 in any state,” Rawat said in an interview with ETV News.

He said that the sting operation against him was a “political conspiracy” and that he could be arrested any day.

“I am waiting for the day when CBI arrests me for the sting. A day before the floor test, CBI called me for questioning in Delhi. I was unwell and according to the provisions of CBI, it could have come here to question me since I am a senior citizen,” he said.

“The sting operation was a political conspiracy by the BJP,” Rawat added.

Days after the political crisis erupted in Uttarakhand, the rebel Congress legislators had released a video clip on the sting which allegedly showed that Rawat tried to bribe them to return to his camp.

In his interview Rawat also ruled out early assembly polls in the state.

“I know that I will get good results if I call for polls now. But in the last two months, due to the political crisis, the state has suffered a lot in terms of development. Hence, my priority is to speed up the development works in the state,” he said.

Without directly blaming National Security Adviser Ajit Doval for the political crisis in the state, Rawat said: “I have no evidence against Doval but I can say that his son had met one Congress legislator a day before the floor test.”

On being asked if the Bahujan Samaj Party legislators who supported the Congress in the floor test would get ministerial berth in the new cabinet, Rawat said it was for Mayawati to decide.

“I can’t decide about the BSP MLAs. The decision has to be taken by their party chief, Mayawati. All I can say is that I want to take everyone along with me when it comes to governance,” he added.

Rawat returned as the chief minister of Uttarakhand after winning the confidence vote held on May 10 on the order of the Supreme Court. The central government revoked President’s Rule in the state after the Congress got support of 33 members of the assembly of the 61 who voted, ending the political turmoil in the state.