Published On : Wed, Mar 30th, 2016

No floor test in Uttarakhand tomorrow, says Court

Harish RawatDehradun/Nagpur:  There will be no floor test in Uttarakhand tomorrow, the High Court ruled today. The Centre had challenged the court’s ruling yesterday asking Congress’ Harish Rawat to face a test of strength in the assembly on Thursday. “If you allow a trust vote, there will be two governments,” the government had argued.

  1. The Centre challenged the high court’s order on grounds that Uttarakhand is under central rule and therefore has “no government or an empty assembly building.”
  2. “What was the need to pass this judgement? Why could they not wait two days? Voting in assembly is suspended so how is the learned judge calling the house to sit? There can’t be a house, cannot be a sitting,” Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi said.
  3. “The assembly building is empty, there is no government, there is no MLA (lawmaker) once 356 (President’s Rule) is in place,” the Attorney General said.
  4. Rohatgi also said a trust vote would mean an assembly sitting and “two governments, one that has had the sitting and one that is there under central rule.”
  5. The court ruling that there must be a trust vote was seen as embarrassing for the Centre, which had ordered President’s Rule on the weekend.
  6. Till last week, Rawat of the Congress was Chief Minister, confronting dissidence within his party. Earlier this month, nine Congress rebel lawmakers voted against him on the state’s budget.
  7. The Centre said this proved that his government had been reduced to a minority. Rawat and his party refuted that allegation, and were told by Governor KK Paul to take a trust vote on Monday, March 28.
  8. However, before that could happen, President Pranab Mukherjee sanctioned the Cabinet’s recommendation for Uttarakhand to be governed by the Centre.
  9. Adding to Rawat’s challenges, a video aired by a news channel, which said the sting showed the politician attempting to bribe rebel Congressmen to return to the fold.
  10. Uttarakhand is one of eight states governed by the Congress (among those are Kerala and Assam where elections have been called). Earlier this year, its government in Arunanchal Pradesh collapsed, again, after a mutiny within its legislators.