Rawat confident after trust vote

High drama as BSP backs Cong., one BJP MLA cross-votes

Updated - November 17, 2021 04:30 am IST

Published - May 10, 2016 12:49 pm IST - Dehradun

Deposed Chief Minister Harish Rawat’s long-drawn battle against the BJP concluded on Tuesday when he emerged out of the Uttarakhand Vidhan Sabha after apparently winning the vote of confidence.

Though the formal announcement of the floor test result will be made on Wednesday by the Supreme Court, MLAs from either side told the media that the Congress got 33 votes and the BJP 28, making Mr. Rawat the clear winner.

In the absence of the nine disqualified Congress MLAs, 61 MLAs, barring Speaker Govind Singh Kunjwal, participated in the voting. The result will be presented to the apex court in a sealed cover.

President’s rule lifted

The floor test was held under the supervision of Principal Secretary, Legislative and Parliamentary Affairs Jaidev Singh after 11 a.m. when President’s rule was temporarily lifted from the State for two hours, as per the Supreme Court’s order.

Before entering the House, BJP MLA Bheem Lal Arya indicated support for the Congress, while Congress MLA Rekha Arya showed where her sympathies lay when she accompanied Uttarakhand BJP president Ajay Bhatt.

BSP supremo Mayawati announced her party’s support for the Congress minutes before the floor test. It was earlier thought the two BSP MLAs would abstain. The BSP is part of the six-member Progressive Democratic Front (PDF) that had supported the Congress government. Before the trust vote too, the PDF, barring the two BSP MLAs, had pledged support for Mr. Rawat.

“We cannot disclose the proceedings but we are eagerly waiting for the result to be presented to the Supreme Court,” Mr. Rawat told the media after the floor test.

BJP to ‘expose’ Rawat before the people

Soon after the vote of confidence, which MLAs on either side said the Congress won, Uttarakhand BJP president Ajay Bhatt said the party would now go to the people and “expose” Harish Rawat’s corruption, especially after the sting operation allegedly showing him fixing a deal with the rebel Congress MLAs to “purchase” them.

“Winning the floor test is not the same as winning the hearts of the people of this State. There is enough evidence against Mr. Rawat showing that he indulged in horse-trading,” Mr. Bhatt told The Hindu .

He said that while the BJP lost only one of its MLAs in this fiasco, the Congress lost 10 MLAs, including the nine Congress “rebels.”

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