Uttarakhand crisis: Rawat moves HC, parades 34 MLAs before Governor

After hearing both the sides for close to four hours, the single bench of Justice U C Dhyani of the high court said the hearing will continue on Tuesday.

Written by Lalmani Verma | Dehradun | Updated: March 29, 2016 5:09 am
Rawat with 34 MLAs in Dehradun. (Express Photo: Virender Singh Negi) Rawat with 34 MLAs in Dehradun. (Express Photo: Virender Singh Negi)

A day after his government was removed, Harish Rawat of the Congress moved the Uttarakhand High Court Monday, challenging imposition of President’s rule in the state. He also paraded 34 MLAs before Governor K K Paul to claim he still had majority in the

70-member House — the 71st member is nominated — to run a stable government.

Rawat urged the Governor to revive the assembly and to give him an opportunity to prove his majority on the floor of the House. President’s rule was imposed Sunday and the House placed under suspended animation after nine rebel Congress MLAs joined hands with the opposition BJP.

Read | Uttarakhand: CM Rawat ‘sting’ latest by TV editor who faced 18 cases 

A petition, filed on Rawat’s behalf by his lawyer Abhishek Manu Singhvi, has questioned the Centre’s decision to impose President’s rule. The matter is likely to be taken up Tuesday. A PTI report said Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta will argue the case on behalf of the Union government.

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Rawat, who had handed a letter to the Governor’s office Sunday night as well with the request to let him prove his majority, submitted two memorandums Monday to the Governor. These were signed by MLAs of the Congress, BSP, UKD and Independents.

Read: In Uttarakhand, BJP MLAs return, say ready for polls 

The first memorandum stated that 34 MLAs were presenting the memorandum with the request that they had sufficient numbers to run a stable government in the state.

“Complete and clear majority is in our favour in the current assembly. You are patron of the Constitution. We request you to protect provisions of the Constitution and legislative traditions,” the MLAs told the Governor in the memorandum.

In another memorandum, the MLAs asked the Governor to give his approval to the Appropriation Bill 2016-17 which they claimed was passed in the assembly on March 18.

After meeting the Governor, Rawat said, “MLAs of Congress and PDF that include members from BSP, UKD and Independents, met the Governor today and claimed we have majority.”

Read: Haris Rawat conspired to implicate me: BJP MLA who ‘attacked’ horse 

He said he told the Governor he was ready to prove majority but was deprived of the opportunity because of “a conspiracy”.

Indira Hridayesh, who was a minister in the Rawat government, said “whatever unconstitutional has been done will be challenged in the High Court and Supreme Court”.

“Today’s meeting with the Governor had two agenda. First, we have complete majority and he has to hold a floor test. Second, the Appropriation Bill has been passed, the Speaker has taken a decision on it and he should accept that,” she told The Indian Express.

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