Uttarakhand Judges Nix President's Rule, Huge Setback For Centre

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Harish Rawat has been reinstated as Chief Minister of Uttarakhand. He will take a trust vote next Friday to determine if he can continue as head of a Congress government in the state.


Dehradun: 

Highlights

  1. President's Rule was introduced on March 27 by Centre
  2. Congress' Harish Rawat challenged move, reinstated as Chief Minister
  3. Trust vote on April 29 to determine if he can continue as Chief Minister
President's Rule was wrongly declared for Uttarakhand, said the state's high court today in a big and embarrassing setback for the Centre.

Harish Rawat has been reinstated as Chief Minister with the Court ordering "as you were" for the hill-side state; he will take a trust vote next Friday to determine if he can continue as head of a Congress government in the state. "The truth has won," he said today.

Tomorrow morning, the Centre will ask the Supreme Court to urgently hear its case on why President's Rule is necessary for Uttarakhand.
 

Celebrations outside the Uttarakhand High Court after the judgement against President's rule in the state.

In keeping with the pattern of the last few hearings, the judges were fierce today in their criticism of the Centre, underscoring that President's Rule "should be used as a matter of last resort," and that the removal of "a democratically elected government breeds cynicism in the heart of citizens".

In March, just one day before Mr Rawat was scheduled to prove his majority in the legislature, the Centre declared that it would govern Uttarakhand through Governor KK Paul. It has argued that since President Pranab Mukherjee signed off on the decision, the move could not be examined by courts. "Even the President can be wrong," the judges firmly replied yesterday.
 

Disbanding Harish Rawat's government, President's Rule had been imposed in Uttarakhand on March 29.

The Congress has accused the Centre of distorting rules to remove an Opposition government - a position vindicated by the court today.

The Centre has said that Mr Rawat lost his majority in the legislature in March, as evidenced by the fact that nine of his own party members voted against the budget he presented for the state. But Mr Rawat says he can prove otherwise.
 

He has also dismissed as doctored a CD that the BJP furnished in which it claims he's seen attempting to buy votes.


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