Verdict on 9 Disqualified MLAs Rawat’s Next Test
They are powerful, mighty and broad chested...I would request Centre to forget past and work in the spirit of cooperative federalism, says Rawat
Dehradun: Chief minister Harish Rawat will hold a meeting of his state CabinetonFridaymorningfollowing the restoration of his government by the Uttarakhand high court that also quashed President’s rule in the state. Chief Secretary Shatrughan Singh told ET on phone: “He has been restored as chief minister.” Rawat will hold a meeting with the principal secretaries of all departments also.
Although Rawat has returned as the CM, he has many challenges to retain his post. He would have to protect his MLAs from poaching before the floor test which the court fixed for April 29. A petition challenging the Speaker’s decision to disqualify the 9 Congress MLAsispendingbeforeasinglebench, which will hear the case on Saturday. “Much will depend on the single bench order on the petition filed by 9 MLAs disqualified under anti-defection law. If the disqualification is not upheld, itwillbecompletelya different political s i t uati o n in t he state,” a source in Rawat camp said. However, if the court upholds the Speaker’s decision to disqualify the 9 MLAs under the anti-defection law, the number needed to secure an absolutemajoritywillbereducedto31and if Rawat is able to retain the support of 33 MLAs (27 Congress MLAs, 4 independentsand2BSPMLAs),thenhe will be able to pass the floor test.
The support of the group of six nonCongress MLAs who call themselves the Progressive Democratic Front is crucial for Rawat’s survival. At his f i r s t n e ws c o n f e r e n c e a f t e r Thursday’s verdict, Rawat appreciated the role of the PDF in his hour of political crisis. Talking peace with Centre, Rawat said, “We don’t want to fight...They are powerful, mighty and broad chested. We do not talk of fighting. I would request the Centre to forget the past and work in the spirit of cooperative federalism.”
A petition challenging the Speaker’s decision to disqualify 9 Congress MLAs will be head by court on Saturday