Harish Rawat calls for referendum to prove majority


Uttarakhand Chief Minister, Harish Rawat, of the Congress has called for a referendum in the Uttarakhand assembly on Tuesday to prove that he has a majority in the House, according to a Supreme Court order.

The court also ruled that nine rebel lawmakers of the Congress cannot vote in Tuesday’s floor test as they were “rightly or wrongly” debarred by the Uttarakhand speaker just before President’s Rule was imposed in the state.
The court’s rule came as an advantage for Rawant and he called for a floor test. He now has to prove the support of only 31 lawmakers as the quorum of the 70-member house will be down to 61 with the nine dissenters not voting.
Harish Rawat, whose government was ousted when the Centre imposed President’s Rule in the state, vouched all along that his party continued to have a majority and has repeatedly sought that he be permitted to prove it on the floor of the house.
President’s Rule in Uttarakhand will be hanged on Tuesday for the floor test, which will be held between 11 am and 1 pm. The top court will appoint an observer and the entire proceedings will be video recorded.
Barring the nine disqualified Congress “rebel” MLAs, the floor test, which is slated for May 10, will involve 27 Congress MLAs, 28 BJP MLAs, six PDF members and one nominated member. The total members to vote being 62, ousted Mr Rawat will require 32 votes to be restored as the State’s chief minister.
The Uttarakhand High Court accused the Centre for mistakenly pronouncing President’s Rule in a stern attempt to oust an opposition government. The Centre has challenged the verdict in the Supreme Court.
– By Isha Kulkarni
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