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Uttarakhand government gets chance to prove its majority, rebel MLAs allowed to participate in floor test

In a major relief for Congress government in Uttarakhand, the Nainital High Court on Tuesday allowed a floor test in Uttarakhand Assembly on March 31 in which the nine suspended rebel MLAs have been allowed to take part.

MLA-AV

The High Court’s verdict is embarrassing for the Centre, which ordered President’s Rule, for Uttarakhand on the weekend. “Modi has been shown a truly Democratic verdict, he was trying destabilise mandated governments,” said Randeep Surjewala, Congress spokesperson. “This is unprecedented…to order something like this during President’s Rule,” said Nalin Kohli of the BJP.

Interestingly, the nine rebel Congress MLAs, who were earlier disqualified by the Speaker of the Uttarakhand Assembly, have been allowed to participate in the floor test. However, their votes will be kept separately.

Further, the Speaker has been asked not to declare the results of the floor test as the aim of the exercise is only to ascertain the numbers which various parties have in the state Assembly; the issue of which party has the majority will be decided later.

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.

With less than 24 hours before the crucial trust vote in the Uttarakhand Assembly where Chief Minister Harish Rawat was to prove majority support for his government, the Centre, in a dramatic move, dismissed the Congress government and imposed President’s rule citing breakdown of governance on March 27.

The Assembly floor test will be held at 11 am on Thursday and Registrar General of Nainital HC will be present as an observer. The High Court ordered the police to ensure security in the Assembly when the floor test is carried out.

Harish Rawat, whose government was sacked on Sunday on the grounds of ‘breakdown of Constitutional machinery’, had moved the court Monday, calling the Centre’s decision as ‘arbitrary’ and demanded its quashing.

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