Dehradun/Nainital: Congress and BJP are anxiously awaiting the high court's decision on two major
petitions related to imposition of President's rule in the state which would be heard on 6 April even as they work to keep their flock together.
A division bench of the high court would resume hearing on the Centre's petition challenging the single bench's order asking deposed Chief Minister Harish Rawat to go for a floor test in the state Assembly and the one filed by Rawat against the order allowing disqualified rebel Congress MLAs to vote during the floor test.
The single bench's order has been put in abeyance pending conclusion of hearing on these two petitions.
While the Centre has challenged the single bench order on the plea that a floor test in the state Assembly cannot be ordered when the President's rule is in force, Rawat has sought review of the single bench's order questioning the constitutionality of disqualified rebel Congress MLAs being allowed to vote during a floor test.
While the Union of India is being represented by Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, senior Supreme Court Lawyers Kapil Sibal and Abhishek Manu Singhvi are representing Rawat. These two petitions and another filed by Rawat through Sibal challenging promulgation of an ordinance by the Centre on an Appropriation Bill on the state's annual budget are to be heard by the division bench of the high court comprising Chief Justice K M Joseph and Justice V K Bisht.
Meanwhile, the two main political parties are trying hard to keep the MLAs together amid allegations of horse-trading. Congress sent at least 19 of its MLAs to a resort in neighbouring Himachal Pradesh and six of its nine rebel legislators, who aligned with the BJP, are in Delhi.
No one in the Congress circles here seems to have a clue about where the rebels are putting up in Delhi as apparently BJP wants to ensure that they steer clear of any coaxing or cajoling or divisive tactics of the rival camp.
With nine rebel MLAs breaking away, Congress is left with 27 MLAs of its own and is supported by the six-member Progressive Democratic Front which take its number to 33 in the 70-member state Assembly.
The BJP on the other hand has 27 MLAs of its own and nine rebels of the Congress who have been disqualified by the Speaker but have gone to court challenging validity of his action on the ground that it came after imposition of President's rule which puts the assembly under suspended animation.
However, their petition is to be heard by the court on 11 April.