Centre agrees to floor test in Uttarakhand assembly

Changing its earlier stand, the union government today told the Supreme Court that it is ready to allow a floor test in the Uttarakhand Legislative Assembly.

Supreme Court President's rule in the state will be suspended for the floor test. The proceedings are to be videoed, the court ordered. The nine disqualified MLAs will not be allowed to vote, the court said..

Attorney General Mukul Rohtagi appearing on behalf of the central government requested the apex court to appoint an observer for the floor test.

The AG told the bench comprising Justices Justice Dipak Misra and Shiva Kirti Singh that there should be only one agenda and the observer should be a retired chief election commissioner.

The top court had granted the Centre time till today to appraise it about the feasibility of holding a floor test in the Uttarakhand assembly to resolve the political crisis in the state.

Uttarakhand was plunged into a political uncertainty after nine Congress legislators, including former chief minister Vijay Bahuguna, whom Harish Rawat replaced, revolted and turned to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

The crisis peaked on 18 March when the assembly passed the Appropriation Bill by voice vote even as the opposition sought recorded voting. Speaker Govind Kunjwal declined the request, leading the BJP to cry foul.

Rawat was then asked by Governor K K Paul to prove his majority on 28 March but a day before that the central government ousted his government by imposing President's Rule. Rawat immediately went to court.

The Uttarakhand High Court by its 21 April verdict had quashed President's rule. The matter then went into appeal to the Supreme Court.