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Rawat set to return as CM following SC’s nod


Dehradun: Harish Rawat was today restored as Chief Minister of Uttarakhand, 46 days after he was ousted by the Centre in a political battle that ended in a setback to Narendra Modi government as the Supreme Court today put its stamp of approval on the floor test in the Assembly.

“We have opened the result of the vote presented to us in a sealed cover by Jaidev Singh, Principal Secretary (Legislative and Parliamentary Affairs) and we find that 33 votes out of 61 were cast in favour of Rawat,” an apex court bench said seeking revocation of President’s rule forthwith so that 68-year-old Rawat can take over as Chief Minister.

Celebrations broke out in Dehradun with Congress workers bursting firecrackers, singing and dancing and distributing sweets the moment the news trickled in from the court that Rawat has won the trial of strength in the Assembly yesterday which was carried out on the instructions of the Supreme Court.

Amidst celebrations, a happy and smiling Rawat was restrained in his comments by saying the judiciary has restored the faith of people in democracy and pledged to start afresh forgetting the “bad patch” to take state forward.

The denouement in the political saga that took various twists and turns and a number of court battles has come as a major loss of face for Modi government at the Centre which had dismissed the Congress government and imposed President’s rule after nine Congress MLAs sided with BJP on the Appropriation Bill.

The rebel MLAs were subsequently disqualified by the Speaker under the anti-defection law, a decision that was upheld by the Uttarakhand High Court and not interfered with by the Supreme Court.

Shortly after the court’s directions, the Union Cabinet met in Parliament House and recommended to the President lifting of the President’s rule to enable restoration of the Rawat government.

Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi met the President and explained to him the Cabinet’s recommendation against the backdrop of the court hearing before he approved the recommendation and a notification ending Central rule was issued at night.

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