DEHRADUN: Uttarakhand assembly speaker Govind Singh Kunjwal on Thursday disqualified two legislators from the ruling Congress and the opposition BJP for cross-voting in a Supreme Court-monitored trust vote last month.
A Congress victory in the cliffhanger floor test on May 10 reinstated the Harish Rawat government in the hill state, which was placed under President’s Rule by the BJP-led Centre that faced criticism over alleged attempts to topple elected governments in opposition-ruled states.
The voting began amid dramatic circumstances with rebel BJP legislator Bhim Lal Arya switching over to the Congress side, while Congress MLA Rekha Arya crossed over to the BJP.
“We decided to disqualify both the legislators belonging to the Congress and the BJP on charges of cross-voting after hearing both sides,” Kunjwalsaid.“They invited action under the anti-defection law.”
According to the Constitution’s 10th Schedule, a member of a House can be disqualified “if he votes or abstains from voting… contrary to any direction issued by the political party to which he belongs...” “The Congress issued the whip to its legislators to vote in favour of the confidence motion moved by the chief minister during the floor test,” he said. The BJP asked its MLAs to vote against the motion. “Both the legislators were disqualified on the basis of the incriminating evidence,” he said. Following the disqualification, the Congress has 26 members in a house of 61. BJP has 27 MLAs and is the largest party in the assembly. The Congress has a thin majority thanks to the PDF, a six-member ally.