Published On : Fri, May 6th, 2016

Centre finally says yes to Uttarakhand Assembly floor test

481142-uttarakhand-hc-700New Delhi: After dragging its feet for nearly two weeks, the Centre today finally accepted the Supreme Court’s proposal to conduct a floor test in the Uttarakhand Assembly on May 10.

Informing the apex court of the government’s position, Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi said the modalities to conduct the floor test will be worked out in the next couple of days.

The Supreme Court said the floor test to prove whether or not Congress leader Harish Rawat has the majority in the House should be videotaped. The court also barred the nine Congress legislators, who had rebelled against the party and later disqualified by the Speaker, from voting in the motion of confidence during the floor test.

Earlier this week, the government had said it is exploring the feasibility of holding the floor test under the supervision of the Supreme Court. The decision is in contrast to the government’s position last month when it was resisting a floor test in the state.

Uttarakhand was plunged into political uncertainty after the nine Congress legislators, including former Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna, whom Harish Rawat replaced, revolted and turned to the BJP.

The crisis peaked on March 18 when the Assembly passed the Appropriation Bill by voice vote even as the opposition sought recorded voting. Speaker Govind Kunjwal declined the request, leading the BJP to cry foul.

Rawat was then asked by Governor KK Paul to prove his majority on March 28, but a day before that, the Centre ousted his government by imposing the President’s Rule. Rawat immediately moved to court.

The Uttarakhand High Court on April 21 quashed the President’s rule, forcing the Centre to move the Supreme Court, which favoured a floor test.