Uttarakhand Cabinet clears ordinance to save Cong MLA
Dehradun: With BJP in Uttarakhand threatening to move court over the issue of a Congress MLA heading three offices of profit, the state Cabinet has cleared an ordinance dropping five corporations, including the three held by the legislator, from the ambit of offices of profit.
Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna sent an ordinance to this effect to Governor Aziz Qureshi for his ratification on Friday after getting the approval of his Cabinet colleagues, official sources said here today.
If the Governor puts his seal of approval on the ordinance, the five offices named in it will stand out of the ambit of offices of profit, they said.
The five offices which the ordinance drops from the ambit of offices of profit with retrospective effect include Tarai and Seed Development Corporation, Uttarakhand Poorva Sainik Kalyan Nigam Ltd and Seed Certification Agency, all of which are headed by Congress MLA and state Agriculture Minister Harak Singh Rawat.
The state government has been under attack from the opposition over the issue with the BJP threatening to move court if Rawat did not resign or was not ousted from the state assembly for heading these offices of profit despite being an MLA and a minister.
Demanding his disqualification from the House, Leader of Opposition in the state Assembly Ajay Bhatt said Rawat, who represents Rudraprayag seat, has been heading these offices of profit in violation of the Constitution.
Bhatt, who had recently approached the Governor seeking Rawat's disqualification from the state assembly on the ground, also asked Qureshi not to give his seal of approval to the ordinance terming it unjustified as it was meant to shield the minister.
“The circumstances don't call for an ordinance. Ordinances are brought in extraordinary circumstances and not to help a minister continue in office," Bhatt said.
Reminding the governor of the memorandum through which the BJP had drawn his attention to the issue, Bhatt asked him to treat it as an FIR in the matter and not to ratify the ordinance which drops these offices from the ambit of offices of profit with retrospective effect.