In a huge turn of events, Uttarakhand speaker Govind Singh Kunjwal has disqualified 9 rebel Congress MLAs. With their disqualification they will not able to vote in the Assembly on March 28, when the Rawat govt will face the litmus test. CM Harish Rawat had requested the speaker to disqualify the rebel legislators.
The BJP on Saturday demanded President's Rule in the Uttarakhand, saying Chief Minister Harish Rawat has no right to continue after a sting operation purportedly showed him bargaining with rebel party MLAs to win their support ahead of floor test on March 28.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has called a Cabinet meeting at 7RCR around 9.30 pm. The outcome of the meeting is yet to come. Sources said, Uttarakhand issue is on the agenda and the Cabinet is likely to recommend for President's rule in the state.
Modi, who was in Assam to address a public rally, rushed back to Delhi to chair the cabinet meeting.
On the other side, BJP's memorandum to the President was critical of state Governor KK Paul, saying he "did not act on the request of the majority of the legislature to dismiss the state government and on the contrary granted 10 days time" to Rawat to prove his majority.
"Such a long time has given an opportunity to the Chief Minister to indulge in illegal, unconstitutional practices including horse trading to convert a minority into majority," it said.
A delegation of party leaders met President Pranab Mukherjee and expressed apprehension that the Congress government may try to "abuse" the Speaker's office to disqualify rebel MLAs to win the floor test.
Party General Secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya told reporters after meeting the President that there was no need for a show of strength in the Assembly following the sting and a constitutional crisis existed in the state.
"Even if the government wins the floor test by disqualifying a few MLAs, it will be murder of democracy. We told the President that after the sting, the state government has no right to continue in power even for a minute. We requested him to take necessary action and impose President's Rule," he said.
The BJP delegation included its vice presidents Vinay Sahasrabudhe and Shyam Jaju, who is also the state in-charge, and general secretary Anil Jain, national secretary Shrikant Sharma and MP Bhagat Singh Koshyari besides Vijarvargiya, who is handling the political crisis in the state.
"In a desperate attempt to cling to power undemocratically and unconstitutionally, Harish Rawat has started approaching the (rebel) legislators belonging to Congress as well as BJP and the other parties, offering them crores of rupees to support him in the floor test," the party's letter to the President said.