The Uttarakhand Governor has asked Chief Minister Harish Rawat to prove majority in State Assembly…
Dehradun(PTI): Uttarakhand Governor Dr. Krishna Kant Paul on Saturday wrote to Chief Minister Harish Rawat, asking him to prove majority in the House by March 28.
Rawat, who had earlier this afternoon said that he would tender his resignation if he was not able to prove majority, would be meeting the top Congress leadership in New Delhi on Sunday to apprise them about the current political crisis. Attempting to downplay the political crisis in the state, the Chief Minister also emphasized that his main priority was the welfare of Uttarakhand.
The Congress Government in Uttarakhand is presently in crisis as nine party MLAs, including a minister, joining hands with the Bharatiya Janata Party last night. A three-member BJP delegation met the Uttarakhand Governor last night and demanded the dismissal of the Harish Rawat-led government while stating that it was in a minority. The BJP staked claim to form the government with the support of the rebel Congress MLAs.
On a day of claims and counter-claims by BJP and the Congress, Assembly Speaker Govind Singh Kunjwal said the “anti-defection law is in place and whoever is found guilty of violating it will have to be acted against”.
“All Congress MLAs voted with the government when the previous bill was passed in the Assembly and nobody had challenged the bill. Even the BJP accepts the voice vote,” he said. Asked about BJP’s no-confidence notice against him, Kunjwal said,”We will see when it comes in the Assembly. of the legislative Assembly will discuss and decide if the no-confidence notice is valid or not”.
Hitting back at the BJP, Congress accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah of seeking to destabilise non-BJP governments through lure of money and political power. “The duo of Modi and Shah are infamous for forcible eviction of elected governments in this country.
Jaju said the party is willing to present the MLAs whose support it enjoys before President Pranab Mukherjee and insisted that Rawat should immediately resign given the loss of majority. Nine rebel Congress MLAs have reached Delhi and are in touch with BJP leaders, he said. Accusing BJP of misrepresenting facts, Rawat asserted that he still enjoys a majority in the Uttarakhand Assembly and was ready to prove it on the floor of the House. “Those who are saying they have support of 35 MLAs are misrepresenting facts.I am confident that I still have a majority in the Assembly and can prove it on the floor of the House,” he told reporters after emerging from a meeting with Assembly Speaker Govind Singh Kunjwal.
Rawat said that five of nine rebel Congress MLAs were in touch with him. The rebel MLAs included, Congress has a strength of 36 MLAs in the 70-member Assembly. The ruling party also has the support of six members of the Progressive Democratic Front.
The BJP has 28 MLAs. Rawat rubbished BJP’s claims that it had the support of 35 MLAs including nine rebel Congress MLAs. Rawat said at least five of those MLAs have made it clear that “they are still with the party and continue to be members of the Congress Legislature Party.”
Rebel Congress MLAs seen raising anti-government slogans along with BJP were mostly those owing allegiance to former chief minister and MLA Vijay Bahuguna. The other eight were Harak Singh Rawat, Amrita Rawat, Kunwar Pranav Singh Champion, Shaila Rani Rawat, Pradip Batra, Subodh Uniyal, a confirmed Bahuguna loyalist, Shailendra Mohan Singhal and Umesh Sharma.
Surjewala said BJP was resorting to such actions in the backdrop of poll debacle in Delhi followed by in Bihar which has “convinced” the ruling party at the Centre that it would not come to power in any state through popular vote. “Is this the Modi culture of politics of transparency and accountability to lure away legislators…bypassing all constitutional norms?” he said.
Commenting on what transpired at his meeting with the Speaker, Rawat said he had gone to him to tender an apology as the Leader of the House for the “unparliamentary conduct of some party MLAs”, who rushed into the well after adjournment of the day’s proceedings and sat on a dharna along with BJP MLAs there.
Admitting that Congress MLAs had flouted the party whip by sitting on a dharna along with opposition members, he said they were liable to be acted against in accordance with the Constitutional provisions. The Chief Minister said he was hurt by the behaviour of rebel party MLAs including Harak Singh Rawat and Vijay Bahuguna.
“As fas as Harak Singh is concerned, the less said the better. He is such a star of Uttarakhand’s political firmament. If one or two more such wrestlers are born in the state, Uttarakhand of our dreams will never become a reality,” he said. Rawat said he was shocked by Bahuguna’s conduct in the House yesterday as he came from a family which always fought against communal forces.
“Coming as it did from the son of Hemvati Nandan Bahuguna who always fought for secular values and stood against communal forces, Bahugunaji’s behaviour was no less shocking,” the Chief Minister said.