The Supreme Court on Friday ordered a floor test in the Uttarakhand state Assembly on May 10. The ruling came after the Centre agreed to the test, which was proposed by the apex court earlier this week. The nine Congress legislators who rebelled against deposed chief minister Harish Rawat and were later disqualified by the Speaker cannot participate in the vote, the court said. President's Rule in the state will be revived after floor test concludes at 1 pm on May 10, the apex court added.
However, the vote that the Centre has agreed to may not mean a trust vote for Rawat. Instead, it may be restricted to counting the number of legislators supporting the Congress and those supporting the Bharatiya Janata Party in the Assembly, according to reports. The Supreme Court also ordered that the vote should be conducted under the observation of a former chief election commissioner.
The Centre has been resisting having a test in the Assembly. The state has been facing a crisis since the nine Congress leaders opposed Rawat, soon after which President’s Rule was imposed in the state, a day before Rawat was to undergo a floor test on March 28.
The Congress had heavily criticised the BJP for implementing President’s Rule in Uttarakhand. The Centre’s move came after the release of a video that showed Rawat reportedly offering bribes to win the votes of the rebel Congress leaders in a floor test. Rawat had earlier denied the allegations arising from the video, which was purportedly recorded by a news channel during a sting operation, but he admitted to being in the video last week. He will be questioned by the Central Bureau of Investigation regarding the video on Monday.