The political crisis in Uttarakhand deepened Wednesday as the Nainital High Court ruled that no floor test would be conducted Thursday after the Centre intervened. Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi had asked the court to stay the test for three days.
Despite the high court, which was hearing a petition by the Centre, saying that the floor test was the best test and was recommended by the governor as well, it put a stay on it Wednesday. The Centre had argued that if the floor test took place, there would be two governments -- the Centre's, as the President Rule is still in place, and the state government, when one party wins the floor test.
"What was the need to pass this judgement? Why could they not wait two days? Voting in assembly is suspended so how is the learned judge calling the house to sit? There can't be a house, cannot be a sitting," Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi was quoted as saying by NDTV.
"When the Governor had set the date of the floor test on March 28, what was the hurry to impose the President's Rule? What were the circumstances?" India Today quoted the court questioning Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi. Rohatgi said the Centre temporarily suspended the assembly due to reports of horse-trading.
The floor test has been stayed till the next hearing, which is on April 6, ANI reported.
The political crisis began in the hill state after nine Congress MLAs defected and demanded a division of votes on the Appropriation Bill. The demand was rejected and the bill passed nonetheless. The Congress MLAs sided with the Bharatiya Janata Party, which said that it was ready to stake claim as the majority party in the state.
The President's Rule was imposed in the state Sunday. The Nainital High Court stayed the rule and ruled Tuesday that a floor test be conducted Thursday.
Former chief minister Harish Rawat had said that he was happy with the high court order. However, the Congress party wanted to contest the permission given to the disqualified MLAs to vote.