Harish Rawat-led Uttarakhand govt in trouble; BJP claims 13 Congress MLAs ready to switch sides

Political trouble seems to be brewing for the Harish Rawat-led government in Uttarakhand as the main opposition BJP on Friday claimed that over a dozen Congress MLAs were ready to switch loyalties.

Updated: Mar 18, 2016, 12:20 PM IST
Harish Rawat-led Uttarakhand govt in trouble; BJP claims 13 Congress MLAs ready to switch sides

Dehradun: Political trouble seems to be brewing for Harish Rawat-led government in Uttarakhand as the main opposition BJP on Friday claimed that over a dozen Congress MLAs were ready to switch loyalties.

News agency ANI quoted top BJP leaders from the state as claiming that at least 12-13 Congress MLAs, who are fed up with the government's policies, are in talks with them to shift political loyalties.

There is a growing resentment among Congress MLAs in Uttarakhand, around 12-13 MLAs are in touch with us, said Tirath Rawat of  BJP.

BJP leader and former chief minister of Uttarakhand Bhagat Singh Koshyari said, ''You will know by this evening what is happening. We are the people's voice.''

However, Uttarakhand CM Harish Rawat dismissed reports of political threat to his government.

My government will remain intact since we have full public support and blessings, Rawat said.

Kishore Upadhyay, Uttarakhand Congress President, also echoed similar sentiments by saying, ''There is no danger to our party and the government, we're secure. All MLAs are with us.''

After Arunachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand is the second state where the Congress government appears to be heading for a major crisis with senior party leaders reportedly rebelling against the chief minister.

The main opposition BJP wants to topple the Harish Rawat government with the help of Congress rebels, in a move similar to the recent political turmoil in Arunachal Pradesh in February.

As per reports, top Congress leaders such as former chief minister Vijay Bahuguna, Harak Singh Rawat, and Satpal Maharaj are unhappy with the Harish Rawat government and want to topple it.

They claim to have the support of at least 12 rebel Congress MLAs in the house of 70 MLAs.

The sources said the Uttarakhand Assembly is likely to witness high drama after it convenes to pass the state budget today with the BJP planning a negative voting.

Importantly, Uttarakhand Governor KK Paul, who was in New Delhi for the last one week, cut short his visit and rushed back to Dehradun.

He is scheduled to meet a BJP delegation after lunch this afternoon.

If there is a negative vote on the budget, President’s Rule is likely to be imposed in Uttarakhand as the state government would be in the minority.