Uttarakhand crisis: HC upholds speaker's decision to disqualify nine rebel Congress MLAs

Uttarakhand crisis: HC upholds speaker's decision to disqualify nine rebel Congress MLAs

By: || Updated: 09 May 2016 11:12 AM
New Delhi: The Uttarakhand High Court on Monday dismissed petition filed by nine rebel Congress MLAs challenging their disqualification under the anti-defection law by the Speaker, a day ahead of the floor test in the state Assembly for sacked Chief Minister Harish Rawat to seek a confidence vote.

However, after the dismissal of their plea by the Uttarakhand High Court, rebel Congressmen have moved to Supreme Court against the court's order. The apex court will hear their plea today at 2:00 pm.

Earlier, while ordering the floor test of Harish Rawat government, the Supreme Court had said that the disqualified MLAs cannot participate in the voting if continue to remain disqualified at the time of voting. observing that "if they (disqualified MLAs) have the same status" at the time of vote of confidence, they cannot participate in the House.

The nine rebel Congress MLAs, who were disqualified by Speaker Govind Singh Kunjwal on March 27, have filed two separate petitions in the court challenging the Speaker's action against them.

These MLAs had sided with BJP to demand a division of votes on the Appropriation Bill in the state Assembly.

Now, as the Speaker's action is upheld and they remain disqualified, the effective strength of the House is reduced from 70 to 61 in which any party mustering the support of 31 MLAs will have the majority.

At present, in the 70-member assembly, BJP has 28 MLAs, Congress has 27, BSP has 02, while there are three independent MLAs and one belongs to Uttarakhand Kranti Dal (P) lawmaker. Nine MLAs are Congress rebels and one is a BJP rebel.

While BJP claims the support of the nine Congress rebels who stand disqualified on date, Congress has the support of the six-member People's Democratic Front, a combine of BSP and Independent MLAs.

(With inputs from PTI)

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