The Centre on Thursday gave an undertaking in the Uttarakhand high court that it will come to it before any decision is taken to lift President’s rule in the state, after the Congress made a strong pitch for the first right to form the government.
“I will inform the court before any decision is taken to revoke the presidential rule,” attorney general Mukul Rohatgi, representing the Centre, told a bench of chief justice KM Joseph and VK Bisht.
The court was hearing an interim application of former chief minister Harish Rawat in which he apprehended that Central rule might be lifted to facilitate installation of a BJP-led government in the state.
In his plea, Rawat said the Centre, in “connivance” with the state BJP, may revoke the presidential rule during pendency of the case and deny “rightful opportunity” to him to form the government making his petition infructuous.
The state was plunged into a crisis after nine Congress MLAs rebelled against Rawat during voting on the budget last month. Central rule was imposed on March 27, just a day before the state government was scheduled to go for a floor test in the assembly.
The court passed an interim order extending the stay on the floor test till April 19. The next hearing will be held on April 18.
The court also deferred hearing on two petitions by Rawat challenging imposition of President’s rule and an Ordinance on the appropriation bill. The court will also hear on Friday a petition of the rebel MLAs challenging their disqualification.