The ongoing political crisis in Uttarakhand was triggered by nine rebel Congress legislators who backed the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) over a division of votes during the discussion on the appropriation bill.
They were disqualified from the assembly under the anti-defection law but eight of them have challenged the speaker’s decision in the Uttarakhand high court.
The rebels may play a crucial role in the 70-member house if Harish Rawat is called to prove his majority on the floor of the House.
Here is a look at the MLAs who have indicated that they were not opposed to the Congress but wanted Harish Rawat out:
Vijay Bahuguna (69)
Vijay Bahuguna, the son of former Uttar Pradesh chief minister HN Bahuguna and brother of Congress leader Rita Bahuguna Joshi, joined Congress in the mid-1990s after resigning as a Bombay high court judge. He won the parliamentary by-poll in 2007 from Tehri and was re-elected in 2009.
Bahuguna emerged as a dark horse and was elected as the state’s seventh CM in 2012. But his tenure lasted less than two years. The introvert and moody leader felt humiliated after he was unceremoniously removed following the Kedarnath floods.
Harak Singh Rawat (56)
Six-time MLA Harak Singh Rawat first won on a BJP ticket in 1991 and became the youngest minister in the then Uttar Pradesh government. A known turncoat, Harak Singh was a staunch supporter of Harish Rawat until the latter allegedly objected to some of his decisions.
In 2003, he resigned as revenue minister over an alleged sex scandal. He was cleared by the CBI and became the leader of Opposition in 2007.
Kunwar Pranav Singh ‘Champion’ (45)
A three-time MLA from Haridwar district and avid sportsman, Champion had issues with Harish Rawat over illegal mining in the rivers of Haridwar.
Shaila Rani Rawat (60)
Shaila Rani, a teacher, this first-time MLA from Kedarnath is a supporter of Harak Singh, who allegedly engineered the split.
Umesh Sharma ‘Kau’ (64)
Sharma was a first-time MLA from Dehradun and belongs to the Vijay Bahuguna lobby. He contested a number of assembly elections but only succeeded after Congress gave him a ticket for the Raipur constituency.
Shailendra Mohan Singhal (56)
Singhal, a doctor, had a long-cherished dream of becoming a minister and Bahuguna supported him, even recommending him to Harish Rawat. He was pro-tem Speaker for a brief period in 2012.
Amrita Rawat (56)
Wife of BJP leader Satpal Maharaj, Amrita Rawat was dropped from the Harish Rawat cabinet in May 2014, four months after he took reins of the state. This three-time MLA is most likely to join the BJP.
Subodh Uniyal (55)
This two-time MLA is a staunch supporter of Vijay Bahuguna. Though Subodh was not a minister in the Bahuguna cabinet, his stature was no less than one. His brother was the advocate general in the high court but was removed by Harish Rawat after the political drama unfolded.
Pradeep Batra (46)
Batra owns a sweetmeat shop and was in his first term as an MLA from Roorkee in Haridwar district. Though he got a ticket due to his proximity to Harish Rawat, he switched sides after Bahuguna became chief minister.