Uttarakhand crisis: Congress, rebels pin hopes on HC verdict | india | Hindustan Times
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Uttarakhand crisis: Congress, rebels pin hopes on HC verdict

The political crisis in the hill state erupted on March 18 when nine Congress MLAs backed by the BJP demanded a division of votes during the discussion on the appropriation bill.

india Updated: Apr 01, 2016 14:13 IST
Anupam Trivedi
Dissident Congress leader Vijay Bahuguna and his supporters in Dehradun on Thursday.
Dissident Congress leader Vijay Bahuguna and his supporters in Dehradun on Thursday.(PTI)

A single bench of the Uttarakhand high court is likely to deliver its decision on the writ of rebel Congress legislators, who have challenged the erstwhile assembly speaker Govind Kunjwal’s decision to disqualify their membership, on Friday.

The rebel MLAs, who reached Dehradun on Friday, said they will decide the future course of action once the court delivers its verdict. The legislators had been camping in New Delhi and Jaipur since March 18.

Out of the nine rebel legislators, six moved the high court on March 28. The rebel MLA’s have questioned the disqualification as they are ‘part of Congress’.

The Congress is hopeful that the court will not give any relief to them.

“We will move Supreme Court if we are dissatisfied with the HC verdict,” Dinesh Agarwal, senior Congress legislator and former law minister, told HT.

The HC, meanwhile, accepted a writ filed by one Manan Sharma demanding CBI probe into the sting operation that showed chief minister Harish Rawat allegedly striking a deal with the rebels. The court will hear the petition after three weeks.

The political crisis in the hill state erupted on March 18 when nine Congress MLAs backed by the BJP demanded a division of votes during the discussion on the appropriation bill.

The governor asked Rawat to prove majority on the floor of the assembly on March 28 but days before the vote, a sting operation surfaced that purportedly showed the CM offering money to rebels.

Within hours, the speaker disqualified the nine rebels under the anti-defection law.

A day before the scheduled trust vote, the Centre imposed President’s Rule in the state last Sunday, citing constitutional breakdown.

The Congress is left with 27 MLAs of its own and is supported by the six-member Progressive Democratic Front, taking its number to 33 in the assembly. The BJP, on the other hand, has 27 MLAs of its own besides the nine rebel Congress legislators.

If the Uttarakhand high court revokes their suspension, the BJP will have a definite edge over Congress in an event of a floor test as its number will rise to 36, the majority mark in the 70-member House.