An upbeat Harish Rawat on Thursday made it clear that his government does not want to pursue a confrontationist path with the "mighty, powerful and broad-chested" centre, asking it to work in a spirit of cooperative federalism.
Hailing the Uttarakhand high court verdict setting aside President's rule in the state and restoring his government, Rawat said that the Modi government should forget the recent developments and cooperate.
His colleagues have been told to let go off the bitterness and work together to take the state forward on the path of development, Rawat said.
"We don't want to fight...they are powerful, mighty and broad chested. We do not talk of fighting, but talk of cooperation. I would request the centre to forget the past and work in the spirit of cooperative federalism," he said addressing a press conference at his residence in Dehradun.
Welcoming the HC order restoring his government, he said, "Uttarakhand has got justice... This is a victory of people of Uttarakhand. We welcome the verdict. The whole country knows who was behind the political instability in the state."
He also said, "I would like to thank the court on behalf of all democratic and progressive forces."
Rawat urged the centre to let the state do its work and said this is not the time of celebrate but to fulfill his duties towards the state.
He said that the centre's act of imposing President's rule just ahead of the vote of confidence inflicted "four deep wounds" on Uttarakhand.
Listing them out, he said, "Defection was caused with the use of coercive measures, when with governor's permission we were a few steps away from proving our majority and President's rule was imposed by the centre."
He added, "The poor man's budget was ordered to be thrown in the dustbin and welfare schemes went haywire at a time when all schemes lined up were to be fine-tuned towards the end of financial year."
The crucial time when the momentum of the budget spending was to take place has now gone and now "we have to strive to compensate for the loss suffered during the last two months".
"All our plans have gone haywire and we will once again try to put them together," he said.
Rawat said people of the state suffered a lot due to the political instability in the past two months and its developmental schemes have also suffered.
Rawat said he would still request the centre to support Uttarakhand in its development as his government was ready to forget the past and move forward together.
Terming the court's verdict as a victory of people of Uttarakhand, democracy and constitutional norms, All India Congress Committee Incharge Communications Randeep Singh Surjewala said Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Amit Shah should learn a lesson from this "decisive and resounding verdict.
"This is a victory for the people of Uttarakhand, democracy and constitutional norms. This is also a slap on the face of those in BJP who sought to dislodge an elected government, elected with the mandate of people in Uttarakhand.
"Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah will be well advised to now tender an unconditional apology to the nation and also to people of Uttarakhand for trampling upon democracy, murdering constitution norms and subjugating the will of people to their blind quest to dislodge the Congress governments. We welcome the verdict," Surjewala said.
He said that it proves the full majority which Congress enjoys and the "sinister conspiracies" which are being hatched from Arunanchal Pradesh to Uttarakhand and many other states to dislodge elected governments by "foul means, use of money and muscle power" should now at least come to an end.
"Prime Minister Modi and Amit Shah should learn a lesson from this decisive and resounding verdict," he said.
Meanwhile, Uttarakhand Speaker Govind Singh Kunjwal has termed the HC's decision as a "historic" verdict, and said it was a "slap" on the face of the centre for trying to dislodge an elected government.
The court's decision will set a precedent for the country in future, he said.
"This historic decision is a slap in the face of the centre which, in a dictatorial manner, tried to overthrow an elected government," Kunjwal said.
Asked whether the nine disqualified rebel Congress MLAs would be allowed to vote during floor test, the speaker said he would be able to comment only after going through the high court's order.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal also took potshot at the Prime Minister and said that he should stop "interfering with elected governments and respect democracy".
"This is a huge embarrassment to Modi Govt. He shud stop interfering wid elected govts and respect democracy (sic)," Kejriwal tweeted.
Senior Aam Aadami Party leader Sanjay Singh said the high court order was a "befitting reply" to the centre's decision of imposing President's rule.
"The centre needs to think over it (the imposition of Uttarkhand) after the high court judgment. They tried to do a similar thing in Arunachal Pradesh. But the high court gave its judgment against a dictatorial government.
"The country also needs to think whether Prime Minister Narendra Modi has become a threat to the world's largest democracy," Singh said.
Singh also raised concerns over a possible horse-trading ahead of floor test on April 29.
Coming down heavily on the centre for the March 27 proclamation issued under Art 356, a division bench of the high court headed by Chief Justice K M Joseph said the imposition of the President's rule was contrary to the law laid down by the Supreme Court.
Image: Harish Rawat addresses a press conference. Photograph: ANI_News/Twitter