Beleaguered Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat today met the Assembly Speaker and backed the demand for disqualification of nine rebel Congress MLAs ahead of the difficult trial of strength on Monday as rivals traded charges on alleged bribes to win legislators.
After meeting Speaker Govind Singh Kunjwal, Rawat, who was issued a notice regarding the demand for disqualification, said he provided documents supporting the petition of Parliamentary Affairs Minister Indira Hridayesh seeking disqualification of the rebel MLAs.
The Congress party has sought the disqualification of sacked minister Harak Singh Rawat and former chief minister Vijay Bahuguna and seven other MLAs on the ground they have voluntarily given up membership of the Congress by joining the BJP MLAs by shouting anti-government slogans in the Assembly and thus attract the provisions of the anti-defection law.
The Congress, which has a strength of 36 MLAs in the 70-member Assembly, faces revolt by nine MLAs, led by former chief minister Vijay Bahuguna, who are said to have voted against the government in the financial business last week.
Meanwhile, the rebel Congress MLAs today alleged that they were offered bribe by the Chief Minister Harish Rawat for support during the floor test in the Assembly and released a video of a “sting” operation purportedly showing the CM, who called it “fake”.
Congress alleged that the “dirty tricks department” of BJP president Amit Shah is at work, while the saffron outfit demanded “immediate dismissal” of the Rawat government.
Releasing the alleged ‘sting video’ in Delhi, Bahuguna said, “The very content of that CD proves that you (Rawat) are using undue influence and bribe to attract the nine MLAs... He should resign on moral grounds.”
“The sting CD being shown on news channels is fake. The reputation of the man behind it who is associated with a private news channel is not hidden from anyone. His antecedents must be probed,” Rawat said at a hurriedly-called press conference at his residence in Dehradun.
Even though he called the CD “false”, Rawat said if at all it indicates something, it is that the rebel MLAs have aligned with BJP for money.