Claiming support of rebel Congress MLAs, BJP on Saturday said it has a majority in Uttarakhand assembly and should be invited to form the government as the incumbent Congress dispensation has been reduced to a minority.
“The Harish Rawat government has lost majority. Today BJP has the numbers with the support of rebel Congress MLAs to form a new government in Uttarakhand,” Shyam Jaju, the state in-charge of BJP, told PTI.
Jaju said the party is willing to present the MLAs whose support it enjoys before President Pranab Mukherjee and insisted that Rawat should immediately resign given the loss of majority. Nine rebel Congress MLAs have arrived in Delhi and are in touch with BJP leaders, he said.
The rebel MLAs included, Congress has a strength of 36 MLAs in the 70-member Assembly. The ruling party also has the support of six members of the Progressive Democratic Front (PDF). The BJP has 28 MLAs. A three-member BJP delegation of former chief minister and MP Bhagat Singh Koshiyari, Jaju and general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya met governor KK Paul on Friday after the simmering discontent within a section of Congress legislature came to the fore on a day of fast-paced developments in the hill state.
Amidst chaos in the assembly, nine Congress rebels joined BJP in demanding a division of votes on the state’s annual budget, which could have led to the government’s fall.
Congress MLA from Rudraprayag, Harak Singh Rawat claimed the finance bill in connection with the budget had fallen, thus giving clear indication that the ruling party has been reduced to a minority with 35 votes against the budget and 32 in its favour.
Rebel Congress MLAs seen raising anti-government slogans along with BJP were mostly those owing allegiance to former chief minister and MLA Vijay Bahuguna.
The other eight were Harak Singh Rawat, Amrita Rawat, Kunwar Pranav Singh Champion, Shaila Rani Rawat, Pradip Batra, Subodh Uniyal, a confirmed Bahuguna loyalist, Shailendra Mohan Singhal and Umesh Sharma.