Centre seeks two days’ time on Uttarakhand floor test

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New Delhi, May 4 (IANS) The central government on Wednesday sought two days’ time to “seriously consider” the Supreme Court’s suggestion to go for a floor test in the Uttarakhand assembly.

This is in contrast to its position on April 27 when the government was resisting a floor test in the state assembly.

The apex court bench of Justice Dipak Misra and Justice Shiva Kirti Singh adjourned the hearing till May 6 (Friday) after Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi said the government needed 48 hours to “seriously consider” if President’s Rule could be lifted for a day to allow ousted chief minister Harish Rawat to prove his majority in the assembly.

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court asked the central government to consider the possibility of holding a floor test under the court’s supervision.

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It said that even on an earlier occasion, it had asked about resolving the political imbroglio in the hill state through a floor test.

The matter was to be heard by the bench of Justice Misra and Justice Shiva Kirti Singh, but the latter is now part of a special bench to hear a batch of applications challenging the NEET for admission to medical schools.

In the course of the hearing of the central government’s appeal against the Uttarakhand High Court order quashing President’s Rule, the apex court had on April 27 asked if President’s Rule could be kept in abeyance for two to three days and the strength of a government tested on the floor of the assembly.

It said that even if it sustains President’s Rule, there has to be a floor test.

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To the court’s suggestion, Rohatgi had then said that it would not be possible to put President’s Rule in abeyance for the floor test.

Uttarakhand was plunged into political uncertainty after nine Congress legislators, including former chief minister Vijay Bahuguna, whom Harish Rawat replaced, revolted and turned to the Bharatiya Janata Party (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 K.K. Paul to prove his majority on March 28 but a day before that the central government ousted his government by imposing President’s Rule. Rawat immediately went to court.

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The Uttarakhand High Court by its April 21 verdict had quashed the President’s rule.



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