Sacked Chief Minister Harish Rawat today appeared to have clinched the numbers in the floor test in the Uttarakhand Assembly with 33 of the 61 MLAs said to have voted for him.
With nine disqualified Congress MLAs kept away, Congress MLA Rita Arya claimed that 33 MLAs voted for Rawat while BJP MLAs conceded that their side got only 28 in a House with an effective strength of 61.
“The cloud of uncertainty hovering over Uttarakhand will disappear tomorrow,” an elated Rawat said after the voting in assembly.
Under the Supreme Court-monitored proceedings, the result of the vote will be given to the court tomorrow morning in a sealed envelope. Both sides claimed that one MLA from each side had cross voted.
Independent MLA Harish Chandra Durgapal claimed that all six PDF (two BSP, 1 UKD and three Independents) members have voted for Rawat. BJP’s Bhimlal Arya’s vote also went to Congress. Likewise, Rekha Arya of Congress voted for the rival side, he said.
Ganesh Joshi of BJP claimed that it was a victory for BJP constitutionally because nine MLAs of Congress had voted for the BJP in the past and now one more MLA has voted for BJP. Everyone saw how Congress tried to buy votes with money and “that is why we were left behind in numbers in the Assembly,” he said.
Principal Secretary (Legislative Assembly and Parliamentary Affairs) of Uttarakhand government oversaw the conduct of the floor test for which President’s Rule was kept in abeyance for two-and-a-half hours from 10:30 AM.
Ahead of the floor test, Rawat sporting a ‘tilak’ on his forehead had exuded confidence that he would comfortably win
the trust vote.
“The people are with us. The Gods Kedarnath, Gangotri, Yamunotri, Badrinath—all are with us. We are all together, the people who are supporting us, we have their blessings.PDF, BSP, UKD.BJP can claim anything they want, winner will be Uttarakhand,” he said outside the Assembly.
Leader of the Opposition in the state Assembly Ajay Bhatt had said he was confident that the MLAs will listen to the voice of their conscience.
“On March 18 when the trouble erupted in the House, some members joined hands with us hearing the voice of their conscience. Today also some MLAs will pay heed to the voice of their conscience and join us,” he said.
Congress leader Ambika Soni had said, “We have the numbers and will win the floor test without any difficulty.” She also alleged that huge amounts had been offered by the opposite side to lure legislators “on our side”.
The trust vote comes a day after the High Court yesterday dismissed the petition of nine Congress MLAs challenging their disqualification and the Supreme Court refusing to give any relief to them.