U`khand: Cong clears hurdle, elects Speaker

Last Updated: Monday, March 26, 2012 - 18:52

Dehra Dun: The Congress government in
Uttarakhand on Monday cleared a major hurdle with the election of
its candidate Govind Songh Kunjwal as the Speaker of the
Assembly by a good margin of eight votes over BJP nominee
Harbans Kapoor ahead of Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna`s trust
vote.

Kunjwal, 67, who scored a hat-trick in the recent state
elections, got 39 votes and Kapoor bagged 31 votes in the
70-member Assembly, protem Speaker Shailendra Mohan Singhal
said announced in the House.

His victory looked certain as the Congress, which has a
strength of 32, had mustered the support of 7 non-BJP MLAs.

All the three independents, Pritam Singh Panwar, the lone
member of the Uttarakhand Kranti Dal, and three members of the
BSP voted in favour of Kunjwal.

Governor Margaret Alva is scheduled to address the new
House tomorrow and the vote on the motion of thanks for her
address is likely the day after, some Congress MLAs said.

Kunjwal, an MLA from Jageshwar in Almora district and a
staunch supporter of Union minister Harish Rawat, pledged to
maintain the sanctity of the House and said he would function
without any bias.

"I assure you that I will treat all the members equally
and maintain the sanctity of the House," said the former
horticulture minister in the ND Tiwari government during
2002-07.

Earlier in the day, Bahuguna made a strong plea to the
opposition BJP to withdraw the candidate for the Speaker`s
post in line with the highest traditions of the democracy.

However, the BJP remained adamant and pressed for a vote.
Congratulating the Speaker, Bahuguna hoped that he would
maintain the highest standards of democracy. "I am sure that
you will earn confidence of both the ruling and opposition
benches," Bahuguna said.

PTI



First Published: Monday, March 26, 2012 - 18:52

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