Going through an unprecedented patch of uncertainty for six weeks that involved rulings by three benches – two of high court and one of the Supreme Court – Harish Rawat-led Congress government is finally all set to regain the lost power in Uttarakhand.As Supreme Court declared the results of the floor test 33-28 in favour of Congress, attorney general Mukul Rohatgi said, “No doubt Rawat had proved his majority. He is to be restored as CM the very moment President’s rule is revoked…We will revoke the President’s rule from today.”<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Opening the sealed envelop sent by the principal secretary of legislative and parliamentary affairs,Uttarakhand, the bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra said “Rawat gets 33 votes out of 61 in the floor test. No irregularities were found in the voting. Nine MLAs could not vote due to their disqualification. He (Rawat) can assume office as chief minister.”Soon after the Supreme Court observation, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi tweeted: “Hope Modiji learns his lesson-ppl of this country & the institutions built by our founding fathers will not tolerate the murder of democracy!”Welcoming the verdict, Rawat said, “Let us forget the past and start a new chapter…I will work without any vengeance and seek cooperation of the Centre for the development of the state. I would soon meet the Prime Minister and the union finance minister and seek their help.” Rawat now faces an uphill task to complete pending public works before elections next year.A thin majority based on outside support gives Rawat little room to play politically. He has only two vacant cabinet berths and it is going to be tough to fill these posts while keeping everyone happy. Sources close to Harish Rawat said that one berth could go to BSP’s Sarvat Karim and the second may go to a Congress or an Independent MLA.A dejected state BJP president Ajay Bhatt who is also the leader of opposition, was sarcastic. He claimed that the return of Harish Rawat would again lead to loot culture in the state.Still hoping that a later verdict on the nine defected MLAs could turn the tide in BJP’s favour, Bhatt said Rawat would have support of only 34 in full house of 71.”Some of undeserving MLAs committed harakiri by falling into BJP’s trap. The BJP has also suffered a loss of face in Uttarakhand because of this. It will tell upon BJP in 2017 elections,” Vishal Dobhal, a senior Congress politician said.Appearing for the ousted CM, Congress leader Kapil Sibal said, “It’s a fair decision and there were no irregularities in the proceeding.”The bench, which recorded that there was no irregularities while conducting the floor test, said Harish Rawat will assume office as CM after President’s rule is revoked and asked the AG to produce the order of revocation by Friday (May 13).”We allow the Centre to revoke forthwith the order of proclamation of President’s rule in the state,” it said.The court, however, kept the plea alive saying it will examine the justifiability of the Presidential Proclamation issued on March 27 night and also the issue of rebel Congress MLAs who were disqualified by the Speaker under the anti-defection law, a decision that was upheld by the Uttarakhand High Court.The bench said the justifiability of the President’s rule has to be gone into and observed, “Suppose we set aside the disqualification of the nine MLAs, there will be another floor test.””We also clarify that nine members of the Legislative assembly did not vote as they stand disqualified,” it said.During the argument, Sibal said, “Our appreciation is for the fair stand taken by the AG.”Earlier, the AG submitted that the order of April 22, 2016 putting in operation the President’s rule, after the high court had quashed it, has to be modified so that Union of India can take steps for revocation of the President’s rule.On Friday, it will peruse the order of revocation of proclamation of President’s rule in Uttarakhand while also fixing the next date for hearing the appeal filed by Centre against the high court order quashing imposition of President’s rule under Article 356 of the Constitution.The Congress demanded an unconditional apology from PM Modi for putting democracy under threat. “He should sack the minister who advised him to go for such an unconstitutional misadventure,” Sibal said.
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