In a major setback to the Narendra Modi—led NDA government, the Uttarakhand High Court on Thursday set aside the President's Rule imposed in the hill state and fixed April 29 for a floor test in the state assembly.
The high court camed down heavily on the central government and said that Aricle 356 was imposed in the state contrary to the law laid down by the Supreme Court. President's Rule "should be used as a matter of last resort," said the judges.
Ousted Chief Minister Harish Rawat welcomed the verdict and said "truth has won". The Congress leader will now seek to prove his majority in a trust vote on April 29. "I would like to thank HC on behalf of all democratic and progressive forces," he told media. Rawat said they are ready to forget this chapter and appealed to Centre to support them in the state's development.
The ruling triggered noisy celebrations outside Rawat's residence by Congress leaders and activists who shouted slogans against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
What happened in Uttarakhand
♦ Nine Congress legislators, including former chief minister Vijay Bahuguna, revolted and turned to the Bharatiya Janata Party
♦ Rawat was asked by Governor K.K. Paul to prove his majority on March 28
♦ However, on March 27 the central government ousted the Rawat-led government by imposing President's Rule
♦ Rawat immediately went to court
♦ Uttarakhand High Court quashed President's rule and asked Rawat to prove majority on April 29
Not a surprise: BJP
The BJP claimed the court ruling was not a surprise. Its general secretary and Uttarakhand affairs in charge Kailash Vijayvargiya, who played a key role in the developments leading to Rawat's ouster, insisted that Rawat won't be able to prove his majority. Party sources said the central government was considering moving the Supreme Court.
Who said what
This is not a time to celebrate, this is time to fulfil our duty towards the state.
This is a huge embarrassment to the Modi government. He should stop interfering with elected governments and respect democracy.
—Arvind Kejriwal, Delhi CM & AAP leader
Attorney General & Solicitor General were unprepared. We should appoint new people
—Subramanian Swamy, BJP leader
On 29th April during floor test it will be proved that Harish Rawat is in minority
—Kailash Vijayvargiya, BJP General Secretary
This verdict is not right, I would advise Centre to approach SC.
—Vijay Bahuguna, rebel Congress MLA
The verdict of Uttarakhand High Court is not just a victory for the Congress party but a victory for democracy.
—Ahmed Patel, Congress leader