The nine disqualified Congress MLAs cannot vote in Tuesday's floor test in the Uttarakhand Assembly, the Supreme Court ruled on Monday. The legislators had approached the apex court for an urgent hearing against the Uttarakhand High Court order from earlier in the day, which dismissed the petition they had filed against their disqualification from the Assembly floor test scheduled for May 10. The top court posted the matter for July 12.
The Supreme Court had said that given the animosity in the state Assembly, a neutral observer must be appointed for Tuesday's floor test. The bench, thus, chose the principal secretary of legal and parliamentary affairs of the state to act as the neutral observer and oversee the proceedings.
Moreover, Uttarakhand Assembly Speaker Govind Singh Kunjwal, who had disqualified the rebel MLAs on March 27, filed a caveat in the Supreme Court, asking to be heard if the high court's order is challenged, ANI reported.
The state has been facing a crisis since the nine Congress leaders opposed deposed chief minister Harish Rawat, soon after which President’s Rule was imposed in the state, a day before a floor test was scheduled in the Assembly on March 28. 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 the test.
A new sting video has also emerged, in which Congress legislator Madan Singh Bisht is apparently heard saying that he has convinced Rawat to pay Rs 25 lakh each to 12 Congress MLAs so they vote in his favour in the floor test on May 10, reported The Indian Express.