Political crisis in Uttarakhand as Rawat government loses nine Congress MLAs

[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]A[/dropcap] political drama has begun in Uttarakhand with nine MLAs belonging to the Congress openly revolting against the four-year-old Harish Rawat government late Friday. By Saturday evening, sources in Raj Bhavan told reporters that the Governor has asked Rawat to prove his majority in the State Assembly by March 28. The BJP, the main Opposition has staked its claim to form a government following the open dissidence by the nine Congress MLAs. The rebel MLAs are led by former chief minister Vijay Bahuguna.

The Congress which had 36 members in the 70 member Uttarakhand assembly has lost its majority with nine MLAs revolting against the Rawat-led government. Meanwhile, the BJP said it has a majority in the Uttarakhand Assembly and should be invited to form a government as the Congress dispensation has been reduced to a minority.

“The Harish Rawat government has lost majority. Today, the BJP has the numbers with the support of rebel Congress MLAs to form a new government in Uttarakhand,” Shyam Jaju, State in-charge of BJP told reporters at Dehradun.

Jaiju said the nine Congress MLAs were in touch with the BJP leadership and has made it known that they would extend support to a government to be formed by the Hindutwa party.

A BJP delegation led by former chief minister Bhagat Singh Koshiyari had called on Governor K K Paul late Friday night and briefed him about the political situation prevailing in the State.

The political uncertainty in Uttarakhand  made Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejariwal to cast his lot with the Congress and blast the BJP leadership of horse-trading. Saying the BJP is proving to be the most corrupt party, Kejriwal tweeted: “Brazen horse trading-first Arunachal now Uttarakhand. BJP proving to be most corrupt, desh drohi and power hungry party,” tweeted Kejariwal.

But BJP general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya rubbished allegations of horse trading and challenged Rawat to prove his majority in the House. “Allegations of horse trading are ridiculous. The legislators of Congress have revolted against the functioning of Rawat and his dictatorial attitude,” Vijayvargiya told reporters.

He also said the Congress leaders, who have revolted against the chief minister are not those who can be bought for money. “Vijay Bahuguna is among the rebel Congress leaders. He was chief minister of the state. What does Congress want to say? Do they mean Vijay Bahuguna is salable (bikau maal),” he asked.

Vijayvargiya also challenged Rawat to prove his majority if he claims so. “If voting could have taken place in assembly yesterday (Friday), he would have known his strength. I challenge him to prove his majority on any forum.”

He also claimed to have the support of 35 legislators.”We have support of 35 MLAs and are waiting for the Governor’s response.”

On Friday, the Congress-led Uttarakhand government plunged into political uncertainty as nine of its legislators joined ranks with the principal opposition BJP. The political upheaval began with the Finance Bill coming up for passage in the assembly, giving ruling party rebels an opportunity to prove that the government has lost its majority.

Led by agriculture minister Harak Singh Rawat, they walked over to the BJP camp.Earlier, speaker Govind Singh Kunjwal declared the Bill as passed which led to further furore. Harak Singh Rawat, who had lost the chief ministerial post to Harish Rawat when the government was formed, later resigned from the state cabinet.

After the sudden turn of events, the BJP’s 27 legislators along with the nine Congress rebels met Governor Paul and sought dismissal of the Congress-led government.


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