The Supreme Court upheld on Monday the disqualification of nine rebels Congress MLAs from Uttarakhand and barred them from participating in a trust vote in the state assembly on May 10.
The lawmakers had gone to the top court after the Uttarakhand high court earlier in the day upheld their disqualification by the assembly speaker.
The Supreme Court verdict is seen by many as good news for sacked chief minister Harish Rawat, who has to prove his majority in the 71-member House. His government plunged into a crisis after the nine MLAs sided with the opposition BJP during a debate over the budget in March.
Here are the highlights of the day’s events related to political battle in Uttarakhand -
- Former Uttarakhand chief minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank said in Lok Sabha, “They (Congress) couldn’t save their home but continue to level allegations on BJP.
- He also said, “If somebody is solely responsible for instability in Uttarakhand, it is Congress party and its government.
- Harish Rawat, after the SC order, said, “BJP should give up politics of defection. We should be allowed to serve the people.”
- Indira Hridayesh said, “This is a big relief for us, we’ve the majority and we will prove it.
- She also said, “We have got justice from both high court and Supreme Court.
- Union minister Venkaiah Naidu said, “We’ve to have a relook with regard to anti-defection law vis-a-vis powers of the Speaker.
- Nine disqualified Uttarakhand Congress MLAs won’t participate in the floor test in assembly On Tuesday, the Supreme Court refuses to allow them to cast vote.
- Uttarakhand high court issues notice to BJP rebel MLA Bhim Lal Arya, next hearing is on May 16.
-Congress leader Ambika Soni, on high court order, said, “I think Uttarakhand high court’s order is right and the Supreme Court will also declare its order.
- The Supreme Court says it will pronounce its order at 4 pm on petition of 9 disqualified Uttarakhand MLAs who have challenged decision of high court.
- The SC says voting in floor test in Uttarakhand Assembly shall take place tomorrow (Tuesday) as directed.
- The apex court rejects Congress’ stand that principal secy (legislative and parliamentary affairs) is an outsider in the House.
- Hearing on 9 disqualified Uttarakhand MLAs plea begins in Supreme Court.
- The Supreme Court appointed principal secretary (legislative assembly & parliamentary affairs) Jaidev Singh to oversee floor test proceedings in Uttarakhand on Tuesday.
- Mobile phones prohibited in Uttarakhand Assembly, Sec 144 imposed from 4 PM today in Dehradun.
- Harish Rawat, on sting row, said, “If Kailash Vijayvargiya, Amit Shah and Shyam Jaju, the people who were involved in horse-trading, are ready for narco test, I will also present myself as first volunteer for the same.
- “I’m confident the people who stood with me in time of crisis, stood with Congress in last 4 years, will support Congress.”
- Harish Rawat, on HC order, said, “We are grateful to Uttarakhand high court and welcome the order. Justice has been done with us today, I’m confident justice will be done with us tomorrow (Tuesday) and in future.
- Harish Rawat, on CBI summon, said, “I have requested CBI for some time and I am hope that they will understand the situation and grant me the same.”
HC order on rebel MLAs: What it means
The judgement will make the BJP’s task difficult in the confidence vote to be sought by Rawat on Tuesday as it will be left with only 28 MLAs including Bhim Lal Arya whose loyalty to the party is in doubt. Though suspended by the BJP Arya continues to represent the party in the House.
It may give Rawat an advantage in the floor test which will now be held in the Assembly with an effective strength of 62 in which the winning side will need 31 MLAs for a majority.
- Centre demands that principal secretary legislative & parliamentary affairs be made observer for floor test proceedings in Uttarakhand assembly.
- Centre moves Supreme Court seeking modification of its earlier order.
- Venkaiah Naidu said, “Now the new method is you disqualify the dissenter & then hold floor test. What is this ‘tamasha? It is a joke of democracy”
- Venkaiah Naidu said, “What is happening in Uttarakhand is ‘naya loktantra’ followed by ‘kutantra’ of the Congress party.
- Vijay Bahuguna, rebel Congress MLA, said, “There will be debate in Supreme Court at 2pm today. Let’s see what the decision will be.”
- Nine rebel Congress MLAs on Monday approached Supreme Court for urgent hearing against Uttarakhand high court’s order dismissing their plea which challenged their disqualification.
- The apex court likely to hear the plea of the rebel Congress MLAs in afternoon today.
- Eight rebel Congress legislators who had challenged their disqualification, said they will fight till they get justice.
- Shailendra Mohan Singhal, one of the rebel MLA, said, “We honour high court’s decision but we will mull all the available options till we get justice”.
- Congress president Kishor Upadhyay said he is sure that Congress will win the trust vote on the floor of the House on Tuesday.
- BJP’s Madan Kaushik files a writ in Uttarakhand HC for the disqualification of BJP rebel MLA Bhim Lal Arya.
- The Uttarakhand High Court on Monday dismissed the petition of nine rebel legislators who had challenged their disqualification from the assembly for alleged anti-party activities, a day before the trust vote.
The single bench of Justice U C Dhyani announced in the court that he has dismissed the petition by rebels and a detailed order is expected soon. The option before the rebels is to move the division bench of the high court challenging the single bench order.
What is the crisis
The disqualification of the rebel MLAs has brought down the House strength to 61, paving the way for the 27-member Congress to win the May 10 trust vote if it garners the backing of six outside MLAs.
While ordering that the floor test be conducted on Tuesday, the Supreme Court had stated that the rebel MLAs cannot participate in the voting if they continued to remain disqualified at the time of the voting.
In the 70-member assembly, the BJP currently has 28 MLAs, the Congress has 27, and the BSP has two. Besides this, there are three Independent MLAs, one belonging to the Uttarakhand Kranti Dal (P), and nine Congress rebels.
The Harish Rawat government in Uttarakhand was reduced to a minority on March 18, after nine rebel Congress MLAs sided with the BJP on the Appropriation Bill. The Centre used the opportunity to impose President’s rule in the state, an action that drew widespread criticism from opposition parties.
With inputs from ANI