Blow to Centre: HC sets aside U’khand Prez Rule
RAWAT BACK AS CM Floor test in Assembly on April 29; Centre to appeal order
NAIN IT AL/ NEW DELHI: The Uttarakhand high court quashed President’s rule in the state on Thursday, restoring the Harish Rawat-led Congress government and asking it to prove its majority in the Assembly on April 29.
The verdict comes as an embarrassment for PM Narendra Modi’s government at the Centre, accused of trying to grab power in opposition-ruled states. In Delhi, attorney general Mukul Rohatgi said the government will challenge the HC’s verdict in the SC on Friday. In a counter move, CM Rawat filed a caveat in the apex court to ensure no order is passed without giving him a hearing.
Two Union ministers, Rajnath Singh and Arun Jaitley, met party chief Amit Shah to discuss the implications of the high court verdict. The Centre imposed President’s rule in the state on March 27 citing “governance breakdown” after nine Congress lawmakers rebelled against Rawat. The deposed chief minister had challenged in court the Centre’s decision, which came just a day before he was to prove his strength in the assembly.
A division bench of the high court said at the end of four days of scathing observations against the Centre that it did not find enough material to justify imposition of President’s rule. “When the government takes action under Article 356 of the Constitution, it is expected to be non-partisan, it cannot have any kind of bias, but we do not see it here,” the bench of chief justice KM Joseph and justice VK Bist said.
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