Nine Congress MLAs in Uttarakhand rebel, BJP stakes claim to form govt; 35 legislators reach Delhi

In a dramatic development and amid political crisis in the state, 35 Uttarakhand MLAs arrived in Delhi early on Saturday morning.

Updated: Mar 19, 2016, 07:24 AM IST
Nine Congress MLAs in Uttarakhand rebel, BJP stakes claim to form govt; 35 legislators reach Delhi
Pic Courtesy - ANI

Delhi: In a dramatic development and amid political crisis in the state, 35 Uttarakhand MLAs arrived in Delhi early on Saturday morning.

​Out of them, nine are rebel Congress MLAs and 26 are BJP MLAs.

They had boarded a chartered flight to Delhi from Dehradun's Jolly Grant Airport.

After reaching the national capital, rebel Congress MLA Harak Singh Rawat said, "After this government is dismissed, we'll give a healthy government to the state.

Another Congress leader former Uttarakhand CM Vijay Bahuguna said, "This government was involved in massive corruption and taking Uttarakhand to destruction," as per ANI.

The rebel Congress MLAs (mostly those owing allegiance to Bahuguna) are - 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.

Earlier on Friday night, crisis hit the four-year-old Congress government in Uttarakhand when nine party MLAs raised a banner of revolt and backed BJP which staked claim to form a government.

A three-member BJP delegation comprising former chief minister and MP Bhagat Singh Koshiyari, BJP in-charge of Uttarakhand Shyam Jaju and general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya met Governor KK Paul late night and said that the Harish Rawat government was in a minority and sought its dismissal.

According to Raj Bhavan sources, the BJP had staked claim to form the government with the support of the rebel Congress MLAs, as per PTI.

The simmering discontent within a section of Congress legislature came to the fore on a day of fast paced developments in the hill state when the nine Congress rebels joined the BJP in the state Assembly in demanding a division of votes amid chaos on the state's annual budget that could have led to its fall.

State Assembly Speaker Govind Singh Kunjwal, however, rejected the demand for the division of votes triggering chaos in the Assembly with both Opposition BJP and rebel Congress MLAs sitting on a dharna in the well of the House to insist on this procedure terming it their democratic right.

The Congress has a strength of 36 MLAs in the 70-member Uttarakhand Assembly.

The ruling party also has the support of 6 members of the Progressive Democratic Front, while the BJP has 28 MLAs.

Rejecting the demand by the opposition, Speaker Kunjwal announced passage of the budget by voice vote and adjournment of the House till March 28 before he left his chair in the midst of prevailing din.

(With Agency inputs)