Rawat set to return as CM following SC’s nod

NEW DELHI: Congress leader Harish Rawat is all set to be reinstated as Chief Minister of Uttarakhand, over six weeks after he was ousted by the Centre, with the Supreme Court today putting its stamp of approv¬al on the floor test in the Assembly yesterday.
“Rawat gets 33 votes out of 61 in the floor test. No ir¬regularities were found in the voting. 9 MLAs could not vote due to their disqualifi¬cation,” an apex court bench said and directed revoca¬tion of the President’s rule forthwith so that 68-year-old Rawat can assume office as Chief Minister. Celebra¬tions broke out in Dehra¬dun the moment the news trickled in from the court that Rawat has won the tri¬al of strength in the Assem¬bly yesterday which was carried out on the instruc¬tions of the Supreme Court.
The developments have come as a major loss of face for the Modi Government at the Centre which had dismissed the Congress government and imposed President’s rule after nine Congress MLAs sided with the BJP on the Appropria¬tion Bill.
The rebel MLAs were subsequently disqualified by the Speaker under the anti-defection law, a decision that was upheld by the High Court and not interfered with by the Supreme Court.
The bench comprising Justices Dipak Misra and Shiva Kirti Singh made the pronouncement today after perusing the records filed by Principal Secretary (Leg¬islative and Parliamentary Affairs) as directed by it.
At the outset, Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi con¬ceded that there is no doubt that Harish Rawat has proved his majority. “It is clear that respondent number 1 (Harish Rawat) has proved the major¬ity on the floor of the house. I have received instructions from the Centre on the issue. The instructions are that the Centre will revoke the Presi¬dent’s rule,” the AG told the bench.
“It’s a fair decision,” se¬nior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for Harish Rawat, told the court.
The bench said Harish Rawat will assume office as CM after President’s rule is revoked. “We allow the Centre to revoke forthwith the order of proclamation of President’s rule in the state,” it said.