The political crisis in Uttarakhand took a new turn late tonight with the Centre mulling imposition of President's Rule ahead of Monday's trust vote for Congress Chief Minister Harish Rawat amid reports that the state assembly Speaker has disqualified nine rebel Congress MLAs which will dramatically alter the arithmatic of the assembly.
The reported decision of Speaker Govind Singh Kunjwal to disqualify the nine legislators from Congress who have revolted against Rawat and joined hands with BJP, would reduce the effective strength of the 70-member assembly to 61.
Rawat would then have 27 Congress MLAs, besides six supporters giving him a strength of 33 which should see him sail through the test vote.
However, an unknown factor in the situation is what the Modi government at the Centre does before the confidence vote.
It has secured the report from state Governor K K Paul on the latest situation in the state triggered by the revolt of the MLAs on March 18.
Cutting short a visit to Assam, Prime Minister Narendra odi called an emergency meeting of the Union Cabinet in the Capital which lasted over an hour late tonight to consider various options before the Centre, including that of President's Rule.
There was no official word about what transpired at the Cabinet meeting, but sources said it would again meet tomorrow to take a final call.
Even as Union Cabinet was meeting, Rawat met the Speaker at his residence to discuss the disqualification issue.