Uttarakhand Speaker disqualifies 9 rebel Congress MLAs; no decision on President's rule yet

Earlier, Rawat had urged the speaker to disqualify the rebel MLAs.

Uttarakhand Speaker disqualifies 9 rebel Congress MLAs; no decision on President's rule yet

New Delhi: Uttarakhand Speaker Govind Singh Kunjwal late on Saturday disqualified the nine Congress MLAs accused of rebellion from the House on the recommendation of Chief Minister Harish Rawat.

Rawat had urged the speaker to disqualify them on the grounds that they have joined hands with the BJP in order to bring down his government.

The Harish Rawat-led government will take the floor test on Monday to prove its majority in the 70-member Assembly.

After meeting the Speaker on Saturday, Rawat said he provided documents supporting the petition of Parliamentary Affairs Minister Indira Hridayesh seeking disqualification of the rebel MLAs.

The Congress party has sought the disqualification of sacked minister Harak Singh Rawat, former chief minister Vijay Bahuguna and seven other MLAs on the ground they have voluntarily given up membership of the Congress by joining the BJP MLAs by shouting anti-government slogans in the Assembly and thus attract the provisions of the anti-defection law.

The Congress, which has a strength of 36 MLAs in the Assembly, faces revolt by nine MLAs, led by former chief minister Vijay Bahuguna, who are said to have voted against the government in the financial business last week.

Meanwhile, the rebel Congress MLAs have alleged that they were offered bribe by the Chief Minister for support during the floor test.

In a statement, AICC's chief spokesman Randeep Surjewala said, "Congress will not be cowed down by such tactics, conspiracies and threats. Even today, the Uttarakhand government enjoys majority. We will abide by constitutional directions and will prove our majority on the floor of the House."

Chief Minister Rawat blamed Modi, Shah and the rebel MLAs for the political crisis in Uttarakhand and said it was an unholy alliance to destabilise a democratically-elected government and derail the process of development in the state.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi late on Saturday called an emergency Cabinet meeting to discuss the Uttarakhand crisis.

It has emerged that the Centre is not in favour of a President's rule in the state at this juncture.

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