Ahead of the crucial floor test in Uttarakhand Assembly on May 10, Congress and BJP are issuing whips to their MLAs as they try to keep their flock together.
The process to issue whips to all the party MLAs for the floor test has been initiated, Congress chief whip and former parliamentary affairs minister Indira Hridayesh said on Saturday.
The MLAs are being informed through e-mail, SMS, and letters. They have been instructed to be present in Uttarakhand Assembly on May 10 and vote in favour of the confidence motion, Indira added.
“The numbers are favouring Congress and we will win,” she claimed.
The former minister also said a meeting of the party MLAs will be called prior to the floor test. However, the timing of the meeting will be decided after consulting deposed chief minister Harish Rawat.
Meanwhile, BJP chief whip in the state Assembly Madan Kaushik said preparations to issue whip to party MLAs have been made, adding a copy of the whip will be served to each legislator at a meeting of party MLAs in Dehradun on Sunday.
In case MLAs fail to attend Sunday’s meeting, whip will be served to them through collector of the concerned district, Kaushik said.
On rebel BJP MLA Bhim Lal Arya, he said the Ghansali legislator will also be issued a whip and he will have to adhere to the party line.
He said, “Arya will be issued the whip through the Assembly Speaker if he refuses to receive it”.
Kaushik had earlier petitioned the Speaker seeking Arya’s disqualification for defying party whip. However, Speaker Govind Singh Kunjwal had, on May 2, rejected BJP’s petition.
The Supreme Court had on Friday ordered a floor test on May 10 in the state Assembly when Rawat will seek a vote of confidence in which the nine rebel Congress MLAs cannot participate if they continue to remain disqualified at the time of voting.
“After the disqualification of the nine MLAs, the effective strength of the House is 62 out which 61 MLAs will participate, barring the Assembly Speaker. The figure to prove a majority in the house now stands at 31,” Kunjwal said.
Nominated Anglo-Indian member RV Gardner will also participate in the voting.
Meanwhile, Uttarakhand high court on Saturday reserved its judgement on the fate of the disqualified rebel Congress MLAs for May 9.
At present, BJP has 28 MLAs, Congress 27, BSP two, while there are three independent MLAs and one legislator of Uttarakhand Kranti Dal (P). Nine MLAs are Congress rebels and one is a BJP rebel. However, Congress enjoys the support of six MLAs of the Progressive Democratic Front (PDF).