Uttarakhand: Harish Rawat holds cabinet meeting, clears 11 proposals

  • Hindustan Times, Dehradun
  • Updated: Apr 22, 2016 17:48 IST
Congress leaders presenting a bouquet to former CM Harish Rawat after the Nainital High Court's decision, in Dehradun. (Photo by Vinay Santosh Kumar/Hindustan Times) (Hindustan Times)

Uttarakhand chief minister Harish Rawat presided over a cabinet meeting late on Thursday, hours after he was reinstated by the high court, that gave its nod to eleven proposals including reappointment of over 6000 guest teachers on a monthly stipend of Rs 15000.

The Uttarakhand high court had quashed President’s rule in the state on Thursday, restoring the Rawat-led Congress government and asking it to prove its majority in the assembly on April 29. The verdict comes as an embarrassment for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government at the Centre, accused of trying to grab power in opposition-ruled states.

The guest teachers had been protesting after governor KK Paul revoked the deposed Rawat government’s order for their reappointment by April. Rawat had extended his support to the agitating guest teachers demanding the renewal of their appointment on an annual basis and a pay hike by sitting on a token strike.

The cabinet also cleared a proposal recommending setting up a committee under the finance minister for revision of circle rates of land. District magistrates would be the members of the said panel.

It has also decided to increase all social pensions by Rs 200. The move would benefit nearly seven lakh pensioners putting an additional burden of Rs 13.5 crore on the exchequer, officials said.

The cabinet also approved a proposal recommending promulgation of an ordinance each on land consolidation and regularisation of slums. The ordinances were brought in after the bills on land consolidation and regularisation could not be passed after the Rawat government was reduced to a minority during the assembly’s budget session on March 18, according to officials.

It also gave a nod to a proposal recommending an allocation of Rs 5 crore each to all the 13 districts in the state. A committee would be set up for hearing disputes and will be headed by a minister each for all the districts in the state.

It also cleared a proposal that all state-run colleges be run on morning and evening shifts.

Rawat along with some of his MLAs also called on the governor to inform him about the high court order revoking the President’s rule in the state.

“It was a courtesy call,” Surendra Aggrawal, Rawat’s media in-charge told HT.

The Centre imposed President’s rule in the state on March 27 citing “governance breakdown” after nine Congress lawmakers rebelled against Rawat. The deposed chief minister had challenged in court the Centre’s decision, which came just a day before he was to prove his strength in the assembly.

A division bench of the high court said at the end of four days of scathing observations against the Centre that it did not find enough material to justify the imposition of President’s rule.

The high court said the disqualification of the nine rebel MLAs by the speaker under the anti-defection law was no material for the imposition of President’s rule. A single bench of the court will hear on April 23 the nine rebels’ plea against their disqualification, which may impact Rawat’s floor test.

If Rawat fails to prove his majority, the governor could either invite the BJP to form the government or dissolve the house and call fresh elections.

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