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Arunachal, Uttarakhand and more: Congress facing growing rebellion, Sonia-Rahul should take stock

Open revolt by a section of Congress party legislators in Arunachal Pradesh and Uttrakhand in period of two months should be a matter of concern for Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi.

In Arunachal Pradesh, leader of the revolting section of the Congress party Kalikho Pul now leads the government and is supported by the BJP. In Uttarakhand, the President Rule on Sunday was applauded by rebel Congress MLAs and by the BJP.

Harish Rawat's government technically lost its power on 18 March when the Congress mutineers had voted against the Appropriation bill (passage of budget) with the BJP.

However, the then chief minister Harish Rawat and Speaker Govind Singh Kunjal alleged otherwise saying that the Appropriation bill was approved by the voice vote. But according to the official proceedings, 35 MLAs, out of 67 MLAs present in the House had wanted division (voting) and were refused. The numbers clearly show that that the Appropriation Bill was not passed on the evening of 18 March. The BJP-Congress agitators' tactic surprised everyone. It was for the first time that the Opposition and a section of ruling party had come together to bring down a state government.

According to Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, "it is to be noted that till today, neither the Chief Minister nor the Speaker have forwarded a certified copy of the Appropriation Bill to the Governor. Obviously, there is no assent of the Governor to the Appropriation Bill. In any case, all facts surrounding the alleged discussion and passage of the Appropriation Bill clearly indicate its non-passage.....There are strong facts to suggest that the Appropriation Bill was actually defeated. As a consequence, the Government had to resign. Two further consequences flow out of this. Firstly, the Appropriation Bill sanctioning expenditure from 1 April 2016 was not approved and, secondly, if the Appropriation Bill was defeated, the continuation of the Government subsequent to 18 March 2016 is unconstitutional."

Rahul Gandhi should think about what Congress rebels like Vijay Bahuguna, Harak Singh Rawat and Subodh Uniyal have been openly saying for past few days - that they tried to meet him and seek his involvement for intra-party affairs in Uttrakhand in last few months but he didn't give them an appointment. The Congress mutineers in Arunachal had made similar statements against him.

A news report in The Hindustan Times says similar situation is developing in another Congress governed state, Okram Ibobi Singh government in Manipur.