Uttarakhand assembly Speaker GS Kunjwal on Monday rejected a petition by the BJP seeking disqualification of its MLA, Bhimlal Arya, saying the party failed to prove its charge of the legislator flouting its whip by remaining absent during the budget session.
As a result, the BJP continues to have 28 MLAs, just one more than the Congress’ 27 in a House of 62. However, Congress also has the support of its ally, the six-member Progressive Democratic Front (PDF), which pushes its strength to 33.
BJP chief whip Madan Kaushik filed the petition on April 5. The party sought Arya’s disqualification on the ground that he flouted the whip by not presenting himself during the voting for the Appropriation Bill on the floor of the House. The party also charged him with praising former chief minister Harish Rawat.
The matter came up for hearing twice before the Speaker reserved his judgment on April 28 after hearing both sides.