Uttarakhand crisis: HC orders floor test on March 31, rebel MLAs to participate

High Court has set aside President's Rule which was imposed on Sunday.

Dehradun: The Uttarakhand High Court on Tuesday ordered a floor test in the assembly on March 31, giving a new turn to the political events in the state where President's Rule was imposed on Sunday.

All MLAs, including the nine ruling Congress rebels, can participate in the trial of strength but the votes of the disqualified legislators will be kept separate.

Read: Uttarakhand HC order for floor test a ‘tremendous setback’ to Centre: Harish Rawat

They will be taken into account subject to final outcome of the writ filed petition by chief minister Harish Rawat challenging the imposition of President's Rule, senior Supreme Court lawyer and Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi told reporters after the second day of the hearing here.

uttarakhand info

Read: Uttarakhand Speaker serves notice to 9 rebel Congress MLAs

Harish Rawat had on Monday moved the High Court seeking revocation of President's Rule in the state and restoration of his government, terming the Modi government's decision as a "brazen display of high-handedness and authoritarianism".

Centre had on Sunday imposed President's Rule in the state citing a constitutional breakdown in the wake of a rebellion in the ruling Congress.

Read: Pranab Mukherjee imposes President’s rule in Uttarakhand

Not amused by the step, Chief Minister Harish Rawat termed it as the 'murder of democracy'. Alleging that central rule was a result of a 'premeditated conspiracy' hatched by the Centre to dislodge a democratically elected Congress government in the state, Rawat also said the BJP was 'thirsty for his blood' right from the day he assumed office on February one, 2014 and did not want his government to stabilise.

Read: Murder of democracy, Modi's hands dipped in 'blood': Harish Rawat

With the move coming weeks after President's rule was imposed in Arunachal Pradesh, an angry Congress claimed that the BJP had stooped to a new low and would challenge the order in court.

The crisis in the hill state erupted on March 18 when nine Congress MLAs rebelled against Rawat's government, resulting in flip-flop in the passage of the Appropriation Bill. The BJP met the governor the same day and staked claim to form the government.

Chief Minister Rawat has contended that with the disqualification of the nine Congress lawmakers, the total strength of the 70-member House has been reduced and so, with his 27 remaining lawmakers and the support of six MLAs from the Progressive Democratic Front and one BJP dissident, he has a majority.

The rebel Congress MLAs on Saturday alleged they were offered bribe by the CM for support during the floor test and released a video of a 'sting' operation purportedly showing the CM, who called it 'fake'.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle with agency inputs )
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