Victory of democracy, says Congress on Uttarakhand HC ruling

New Delhi, April 21 (IANS) The Congress on Thursday hailed as a victory of democracy the ruling of the Uttarakhand High Court setting aside the imposition of President’s Rule in the state.

“Congress is proud of Indian democracy and the judicial system to whom alone and aggrieved citizens of the country can turn for relief at a time of crisis,” party spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi said at a press conference at the party headquarters here after the court verdict.

Singhvi, who was also the lawyer of ousted Uttarakhand chief minister Harish Rawat in this case, asserted that the ruling of the court has reinstated the position of the state assembly to what it was on March 27 — the day President’s Rule was imposed.

“The court has ordered a floor test on April 29,” Singhvi said, adding that this is the first time in the history of Indian democracy that a live and operational Article 356 (for President’s Rule) has been quashed by a court of law.

Singhvi also insisted that the nine rebel Congress legislators continue to remain disqualified as their petition against the decision of the speaker of Uttarakhand assembly has also been quashed.

Uttarakhand Speaker Govind Singh Kunjwal had disqualified nine congress legislators who along with the BJP lawmakers had signed a memorandum against the Harish Rawat government last month, leading to a crisis.

Terming the imposition of President’s Rule an assault on federalism, Singhvi said, ”this judgement (passed by Uttarakhand High Court) tells us that those eyeing either Himachal Pradesh or Manipur or other Congress ruled states with greedy eyes must control their greed and understand that power is available only through democratic means and not the misuse of article 356.”

“The governor had sent three messages in writing till March 26 that a floor test is scheduled on March 28. To that the chief minister had written back twice that he was ready for the floor test as per governor’s directions,” he said, insisting that it was the first time in the history that President’s rule was imposed when a chief minister was ready for the floor test.

Singhvi also informed that the Congress party has filed a curative petition in the Supreme Court pre-empting the central government’s decision to move the apex court to get a stay on the high court’s decision in this case.

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