Ousted Chief Minister of Uttarakhand Harish Rawat will get a chance to prove his majority, as verdicted by the Supreme Court today. The court had asked the Centre government for considering a floor test in Uttarakhand Assembly under the court’s supervision. Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, appearing on the behalf of Centre, today informed the court that Centre is ready for the floor test.
Uttarakhand was brought under the President’s rule on March 27, a day before Harish Rawat was to prove majority in the assembly, Opposition BJP had alleged that Rawat government was in minority as Congress’ 9 MLAs moved against it. Centre had pointed out failure of money bill and alleged horse trading of MLAs by Rawat as main reasons behind the imposition of President’s rule. The decision was quashed by High Court of Uttarakhand, but when Centre challenged the decision of High Court, the apex court stayed the President’s rule. in its April 27 verdict. However, the court had since then asked Centre to consider a floor test as a chance for Harish Rawat to prove his majority in the assembly.
The Court had, on Tuesday, asked Centre government about the possibilities of holding a floor test in Uttarakhand. Now with the green signal from Centre, Harish Rawat would have to prove his majority in the house on May 10. The floor test would be conducted between 11 am to 1 pm under the supervision of an observer. The apex court also mentioned that the President’s rule would be temporarily lifted for 2 hours so that vote of confidence can take place. All the proceedings will be video-graphed and Chief Secretary and Director General of Police (DGP) will ensure safe passage for all members. AG Rohatgi had asked the apex court to appoint a retired chief election commissioner as the observer for floor test.
The Supreme Court also mentioned in its verdict that the 9 Congress MLAs would not be allowed to participate in the proposed floor test as they were disqualified by the Assembly speaker before the imposition of President’s rule in the state.
The day since Uttarakhand came under President’s rule, Harish Rawat has claimed that he enjoys full majority in the assembly. He had also said in media that he should be allowed to prove it. Now as the apex court and Centre have given him a chance, it would be a real test for him on coming Tuesday. The 70-member assembly has reduced to 61-members as 9 rebel congress lawmakers would be absent. Plus, Rawat has also been asked by CBI to appear before it on Monday (May 9) for questioning in the alleged horse trading as recorded in a sting operation.