Before Uttarakhand Vote, Congress Parks Lawmakers At Resorts; One Missing

For the trust vote today, apart from the Congress' 27, Mr Rawat is also banking on two BSP members, three independent MLAs and one from the Uttarakhand Kranti Dal.

Highlights

  • Both Congress and BJP have 27 MLAs each; majority mark is 31
  • Both parties are banking on BSP for support
  • No President's Rule between 11 am - 1 pm when trust vote will be held
Dehradun:

Hours before Harish Rawat seeks a vote of confidence in the Uttarakhand Assembly, his Congress party is clearly nervous, though they will not admit it.

Most of the party's 27 lawmakers are reportedly lodged in resorts in the hill town of Mussoorie, a one-hour drive away, hidden from the opposition BJP, which, the Congress fears, will attempt to break its ranks. There was panic for hours on Monday when the party could not make contact with one lawmaker, Rekha Arya.

State Congress leader Shilpi Arora said, "We are in touch with Arya's family and are convinced she will come and vote for Harish Rawat."

With its nine dissident lawmakers barred from voting in today's trust vote, the Congress will have only 27 MLAs including the Speaker, in the assembly today. But a Supreme Court order that the rebels stay disqualified is good news for Mr Rawat since the effective strength of the 70-member House will be 61, and he can prove majority with the support of only 31 legislators.

Apart from the Congress' 27, Mr Rawat is also banking on two BSP members, three independent MLAs and one from the Uttarakhand Kranti Dal.
      
The opposition BJP too has 27 legislators.

The trust vote will be held on Tuesday between 11 am and 1 pm and President's Rule will be removed in Uttarakhand for that period.

No one can carry mobile phones or other electronic gadgets, to ensure that there is no chance of interference from outside in the assembly proceedings.

The state assembly building is a fortress, with huge barriers on the road leading up to it. Prohibitory orders have been imposed across town, which means large gatherings and rallies cannot take place.

On Tuesday, only legislators and observers appointed by the Supreme Court will be allowed inside the assembly; the nine dissidents are barred from entering.

No one carry mobile phones or other electronic gadgets, to ensure that there is no chance of interference from outside in the assembly proceedings.

It was the nine Congress rebels who scripted the Uttarakhand crisis when they rebelled against the leadership of Harish Rawat, then chief minister.

They were disqualified from the assembly by the Uttarakhand Speaker just before President's Rule was imposed on March 27.