In a recent incident of cross voting, Uttarakhand Assembly Speaker Govind Singh Kunjwal disqualified two legislators from the ruling Congress and the opposition BJP. This incident took place on Thursday. They have been charged with cross- voting in a Supreme Court-monitored trust vote last month.
As a result of cross voting, Govind Singh canceled the membership of Bhartiya Janta Party MLA Bhim Lal Arya and Congress MLA Rekha Arya. This floor test was conducted on May 10. Both of them have been charged with the anti-defection law as they went against the whip which was issued by the parties.
Kunjwal said, “ There was enough evidence against them to prove that they went against the whips of their parties and action was taken on that basis.” He further added, “ We decided to disqualify both the legislators belonging to the Congress and the BJP on charges of cross voting after hearing both sides. They invited action under the anti- defection law.”
Going by Constitution’s 10th schedule, “ a member of the house can be disqualified if he votes or abstains from voting contrary to any direction issued by the political party to which he belongs.”
Kunjwal said, “ The Congress issued the whip to its legislators to vote in favor of the confidence motion moved by the Chief Minister during the floor test. The BJP asked its MLAs to vote against the motion.”
Despite getting instructions from their respective parties, they chose to cross vote. This is the second time the speaker is taking action against the MLAs. On March 27, he disqualified nine Congress MLAs who revolted against Chief Minister Harish Rawat and joined hands with BJP.
When the voting began, both of them switched sides. Bhim Lal Arya switching over to the Congress side and MLA Rekha Arya crossed over to the BJP. Now, the Congress has 26 members in a house of 61 members. Whereas BJP has 27 MLAs and as of now, it is the largest party in the assembly.
The state had been under President’s rule after the rebel Congress leaders supported the BJP on March 27.