Absence of 9 Rebel Congress MLAs To Affect Floor Test, Putting BJP At Disadvantage

former chief minister of uttarakhand vijay bahuguna
Uttarakhand High Court barred 9 rebel Congress MLAs from floor test scheduled for May 10

Political uncertainties continues in Uttarakhand as the High Court ruled out that nine rebel Congress MLAs, who were earlier disqualified by Assembly Speaker, would not be allowed to participate in the floor test scheduled to be held tomorrow.

Congress government was formed in Uttarakhand in 2012 with Vijay Bahuguna (one of the rebel Congress MLAs now) as Chief Minister. After almost two years, Harish Rawat took the charge of government. Congress had won 32 seats in assembly elections and BJP had won 31 seats while the required number of MLAs for majority in 70-seats assembly stood at 36. Congress succeeded in forming government with support of 7 MLAs (3 from Bahujan Samaj Party, 3 Independent and 1 from Uttarakhand Kranti Dal). After bye-elections, Congress stood at 36 seats, BJP at 28 seats, BSP at 2 seats, 1 UKD and 3 Independent.

After the revolt of nine MLAs, Congress has support of 27 MLAs. Meanwhile Harish Rawat has claimed that he enjoys full majority as six PDF MLAs are with him. On the other hand, BJP is also claiming the same. With the disqualification of 9 Congress MLAs, the Uttarakhand Assembly is reduced to 61 effective strength and the final picture would clear only by tomorrow when Harish Rawat would try to get trust vote in Assembly.

Uttarakhand is under President’s rule since March 27, when the Central government imposed the rule stating that money bill failure in Assembly clarifies that the Congress-ruled state government has lost the majority in the house. Centre had also justified the President’s rule citing the sting video in which Harish Rawat was seen trying to buy support of rebel Congress MLAs to save the government.

The apex court asked the Centre to consider a floor test in Uttarakhand Assembly which the Central government accepted. The floor test is to be held on May 10 under the supervision of Principal Secretary, Legislative and Parliamentary Affairs as a neutral observer. Whole proceedings would be video-graphed. Main emphasis would be on providing security to all the legislators, informed Assembly Speaker Govind Kunjwal.

The Supreme Court had also mentioned in its verdict dated May 6 that it could not permit rebel Congress MLAs to participate in floor test as they stand disqualified. The apex court said as these MLAs were disqualified by Assembly Speaker before the imposition of President’s rule in State, it would not give the permission.

Harish Rawat was summoned by CBI to appear before it in Delhi office today over the alleged involvement in horse trading. Earlier yesterday, Rawat said that he would remain in Dehradun (Uttarakhand Capital) till the floor test ends. The floor test would be held between 11 am to 9 am on Tuesday and the President’s rule will be lifted for the duration.

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