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Don’t view decision as a setback: Harish Rawat on SC order

Uttarakhand crisis Updated: Apr 23, 2016 00:48 IST
HT Correspondents
Uttarakhand crisis

Uttarakhand Congress incharge Ambika Soni (R) presents a bouquet to Chief Minister Harish Rawat during a meeting in Dehradun on Friday, April 22, 2016.(PTI)

The Supreme Court’s interim order on Friday restoring President’s rule in Uttarakhand may have come as a disappointment to the Congress but the party put up a brave face, saying it prevented any attempt by the BJP to “forge” a majority in the Assembly and form the government.

“This interim order has done a good thing and acknowledged that President’s rule cannot be revoked midway till the court decides on it. It has prevented any attempt of forging a majority (by BJP) and revoking President’s rule to force an illegitimate government on the state,” deposed CM Harish Rawat said.

“We bow down to the SC’s interim order . We don’t view it as a setback. It is intended to cover the short transitional period to enable the court to consider the main judgment. It’s primarily based on the absence of a copy of the (HC) judgement. We will vigorously oppose the stay in the next hearing,” said Abhishek Manu Singhvi, senior lawyer and Congress national spokesperson who represents Rawat in Nainital HC.

Congress president Sonia and vice-president Rahul Gandhi will lead a protest rally in the national capital later this month against the Centre’s role in the crisis, party general secretaries decided on Friday. The party is awaiting the HC’s ruling on the disqualification of nine MLAs whose rebellion led to the current crisis. The Nainital HC will hear the disqualification case on Saturday.

If the court upholds the assembly Speaker’s decision to disqualify them, the strength of the assembly will come down to 61, giving the Congress a boost. The party, which has 27 MLAs excluding the rebels, can reach the majority figure with the support of six progressive democratic front MLAs and a suspended BJP MLA. But if the court sets aside their disqualification, BJP, with 27 MLAs, could reach the majority figure with support from the nine rebel Congress MLAs.

While Congress is leaving no stone unturned to retain power in Dehradun, party leaders are of the view that the BJP’s haste to form a government might have damaged its credibility in the state. With assembly elections early next year, Congress believes that even if BJP manages to form the government now, Rawat could generate “sympathy votes”.