Nine Congress rebel MLAs ‘disqualified’

PM Modi holds late-night Cabinet meeting; floor test tomorrow

Updated - November 17, 2021 05:12 am IST

Published - March 27, 2016 01:24 am IST - New DELHI/DEHRADUN:

On a day of fast-paced developments in Uttarakhand, Prime Minister Narendra Modi called an emergency Cabinet meeting on Saturday night to discuss the issue, and Speaker Govind Singh Kunjwal reportedly disqualified the nine Congress MLAs who had joined their BJP counterparts to dislodge the Harish Rawat government.

Earlier in the day, the rebel MLAs released a video in New Delhi that purported to show Chief Minister Harish Rawat allegedly offering money in return for their support.

Sources in the Cabinet told The Hindu that the prospect of imposing President’s Rule in the State “was discussed” and a call would be taken before Monday, when the Rawat government faces a floor test in the Assembly.

The Chief Minister met the Speaker at his residence soon after the Union Cabinet meeting began, appealing to him to disqualify the rebel MLAs, including veterans Vijay Bahuguna and Harak Singh Rawat.

Speaking to The Hindu , Uttarakhand Congress president Kishore Upadhyay said the Speaker took the action as the Centre was making “desperate attempts” to impose President’s Rule. But no notification was issued on the disqualification, he added.

The Congress still has the support of 34 legislators, six of them Independents. The BJP has 28, of whom one has reportedly been disqualified.

A nervous Congress leadership termed the Cabinet meeting “one of the last attempts” to dislodge the Harish Rawat-led government.The Speaker has called for a floor test on Monday.

“First they [the BJP] thought that the Governor will come under their pressure, then they thought they will pressure the Speaker. When nothing worked, they resorted to this sting operation. I am confident that the President will find out everything and will look at the greater impact of such actions on the part of BJP government,” said senior Congress leader Ambika Soni at a hurriedly convened press conference in Delhi. Ms. Soni said a “fake video” should not be a reason to pull down a government.

(With inputs from Nistula Hebbar in New Delhi)

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