The Uttarakhand High Court on Tuesday directed ousted chief minister Harish Rawat to take a floor test in the assembly on March 31 to prove his legislative majority and allowed the nine Congress MLAs who were disqualified by Uttarakhand Speaker Govind Singh Kunjwal on Sunday to take part in the floor test .It said the result of the voting should be presented to the court on April 1.
The High Court ruled that the results of the floor test should not be declared in the Assembly and instead, should be presented before it in a sealed envelope.
Congress party’s lawyer Abhishek Manu Singhvi said that the court order states that while the nine disqualified MLAs can vote but it will be kept separately. “The votes of the disqualified MLAs will be counted only as per the outcome,” he said.
However, the court allowed President’s rule in the state to continue.
The rebel lawmakers – led by former chief minister Vijay Bahuguna supported the BJP legislators’ and earlier demanded for a conscience vote at the assembly’s budget session on March 18.
Before the crisis, the Congress had 36 legislators in the 70-member assembly. The ruling party also has the support of six members of the Progressive Democratic Front, while the BJP has 28 legislators.
Rawat may get the support of 27 Congress MLAs and six others, bringing the total number to 33 – enough for him to survive the floor test. However, speculations are rife over how the Centre plans to prevent the situation from working out in the Congress government’s favour. It has already received a report from governor KK Paul on the crisis.
Congress leader Harish Rawat moved the Uttarakhand High Court in Nainital, arguing that invoking Article 356 was in “blatant violation of the Constitution.”
Rawat met Governor K.K. Paul and requested for a chance to prove his majority in the Assembly.
Nine Congress legislators led by Harak Singh had rebelled against the chief minister couple of weeks back but now they are allowed to vote in a hidden voting in assembly .
The Centre on Sunday brought Uttarakhand under President’s rule citing a constitutional breakdown in the wake of a rebellion in the ruling Congress, which slammed the decision calling it a “murder of democracy” and a “black” day.