Uttarakhand crisis: High court hearing of rebel Congress MLAs begins

  • Anupam Trivedi, Hindustan Times, Dehradun
  • Updated: Apr 25, 2016 15:34 IST
Uttarakhand’s rebel Congress MLAs Kunwar Pranav Champion, Vijay Bahuguna, Harak Singh Rawat and Subodh Uniyal during a meeting at Harak Singh Rawat's residence in Dehradun. (Vinay Santosh Kumar/HT Photo)

The legal battle involving rebel Congress MLAs in Uttarakhand resumed on Monday with the Uttarakhand high court resumption of the hearing of their petition. On Saturday Kapil Sibal, the counsel for speaker Govind Kunjwal had argued in the favour of the decision disqualifying membership of the legislators under the anti-defection law.

The counsel representing rebels will put forth arguments before the single bench court of justice UC Dhyani. The rebels have challenged the speaker’s disqualification order mainly on two grounds – first they were not given enough time by speaker to respond and secondly they were not provided ‘proofs’ of anti-party activity.

Last week, the Supreme Court had stayed till April 27 the High Court’s order quashing President’s Rule from Uttarakhand and asking Harish Rawat to prove majority on the floor of the House on April 29. The apex court will on Monday hear the Centre’s plea against the HC order which had come as a huge embarrassment to the Modi government.

There is a possibility that the High Court could seal the fate of rebel legislators before Wednesday.

Meanwhile the rebel MLAs Subodh Uniyal, Umesh Sharma Kau, Shailendra Mohan Singhal and Harak Singh Rawat are scheduled to meet their leader Vijay Bahuguna at his constituency Sitarganj. Bahuguna is in the state on Monday on the occasion of the birth anniversary of his father HN Bahuguna, who was the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh.

Shailendra Mohan Singhal told Hindustan Times that Bahuguna will be addressing public meeting at Sitarganj. This is the first time Bahuguna will be visiting his constituency since the political crisis hit the state in March.

Harish Rawat had recently held a march at Bahuguna’s constituency. The rebel leader is expected to hit back at Rawat in today’s rally.

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