Governor asks CM Rawat to prove majority by March 28

The Uttarakhand Governor has asked Chief Minister Harish Rawat to prove majority in State Assembly by March 28, 2016, Rajbhavan sources said on Saturday.

Earlier in the day, the BJP said it has a majority in the Uttarakhand Assembly and should be invited to form a government as the incumbent Congress dispensation was 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 PTI.

A file photo of Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat, whose government faces trouble following the BJP's claim that it has a majority in the Assembly with the support of rebel Congress MLAs.

Mr. Jaju said the party was willing to present the MLAs whose support it enjoyed before President Pranab Mukherjee and insisted that Mr. Rawat should immediately resign given the loss of majority.

Nine rebel Congress MLAs have arrived in Delhi and were in touch with BJP leaders, he said.

The four-year-old Rawat government is under threat with nine rebel Congress MLAs raising the banner of revolt and joining the BJP.

The rebel MLAs included, the 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.

A three-member BJP delegation of former chief minister and MP Bhagat Singh Koshiyari, Mr. Jaju and general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya met Governor K.K. Paul last night after the simmering discontent within a section of Congress legislature came to the fore on a day of fast-paced developments in the hill state.

Amidst chaos in the Assembly, nine Congress rebels joined BJP in demanding a division of votes on the state’s annual budget, which could have led to the government’s fall.

Congress MLA from Rudraprayag, Harak Singh Rawat claimed the finance bill in connection with the budget had fallen, thus giving clear indication that the ruling party has been reduced to a minority with 35 votes against the budget and 32 in its favour.

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.