Uttarakhand floor test on Tuesday, 9 disqualified MLAs can’t vote

The Centre agreed to a floor test in the Uttarakhand assembly and asked the Supreme Court to appoint an observer. The Centre’s decision was in response to the top court’s directive earlier this week, suggesting the floor test.

The court said the floor test should be observed by a retired chief election commissioner, and emphasised that there be just one agenda behind the motion. It directed the chief secretary and director general of police to ensure the assembly remained secure for legislators to enter and cast their vote.

The floor test is likely to resolve the political stalemate Uttarakhand has been in since March-end when nine rebelling MLAs of the ruling Congress led the state to President’s rule.

The court ruled that the nine legislators, who were disqualified from the assembly, would not be allowed to vote.

The floor test will be held on May 10 between 11 am and 1 pm, and will be video taped. The principal secretary of the legislative assembly will then place the votes and video-recording before the court on May 11.

The court further said the presidential proclamation will be kept in abeyance from 10:30 am to 1 pm during the e-voting.

The SC has been hearing arguments from counsel’s of the state government and Centre over the imposition of the rule under Article 356.

On March 27, the Centre clamped President’s rule in the state citing a constitutional breakdown in the wake of a rebellion in the ruling Congress. The nine MLAs joined BJP legislators to claim that the Harish Rawat government had lost majority in the assembly due to non-passage of the money bill. On April 21, the Uttarakahnd high court quashed the notification and ordered a floor test for April 29.

However, based on an appeal by the Centre, the apex court put the HC’s order in abeyance, reinstating President’s rule.

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