BJP in catch-22, as it awaits SC’s U’khand verdict
The apex court would take up the Centre’s plea on Wednesday to overrule the Uttarakhand High Court order which had quashed President’s rule in the state and reinstated Harish Rawat as Chief Minister.
A favourable order from the apex court (upholding the proclamation of Central rule) would necessitate the government needing approval of its decision from Parliament, where it is in a minority in Rajya Sabha. In case of the Supreme Court bench referring the matter to a larger bench would also need the government to come to Parliament. Given the prevailing political acrimony inside the House, the Congress for certain will oppose the approval of Central Rule tooth and nail.
On the other hand, if the Supreme Court decided to uphold the Uttarakhand High Court order, which quashed President’s rule and ordered a floor test for Harish Rawat in Uttarakhand assembly, it would mean a huge loss of face for the party specially its president Amit Shah and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, whom the government has fielded to defend the move.
The government is going to argue its case in the apex court citing the Governor’s report, which they interpret as mentioning that the Budget was not passed in Uttarakhand assembly thus there was breakdown of constitutional machinery. The Congress has also been citing the same report by Governor KK Paul, which asked for a floor test.
Party sources said that the BJP could push the line in the apex court that while President’s rule could be set aside the Governor should be given the opportunity to examine the possibility of forming a fresh government, meaning an invitation to the BJP legislature party leader to form the government and thereafter seek floor test.
“In such situation, the six independents and others who are currently lodged in Harish Rawat’s camp could be persuaded to cross over,” said a party leader.
However, legal opinion did not support the line which said that the President’s rule was imposed dismissing a popular government. “Thus quashing of President’s rule would mean restoration of status quo ante, as defined in the High Court order,” said a counsel associated with the case.