Governor may help Congress in hung Uttarakhand house

Dehradun : With talks of neither the BJP nor the Congress getting an absolute majority on its own in Uttarakhand in the recently held vidhan sabha elections getting louder, political observers here feel the Congress may perhaps have an edge in the case of a hung assembly, where the governor plays an all important role.

They said that as the governor, Margaret Alva is a Congress women, she will have a soft corner for the party and make all efforts to try and get the party to power in the state. This is specially true, in case the BJP does not emerge as the single largest party in the hung House, with a substantial difference, they felt.

Political pundits here felt that if there was razor thin difference of say two or three votes between the Congress and the BJP, the governor using her discretion could offer the Congress the option to form the government, despite it not being the single largest party, as there have been such precedents in the past.

They were of the view that the governor could accept the claim given by the Congress that they enjoy the support of certain independents or even the minor parties in the fray, who amongst themselves may win about a dozen seats, and this could spoil the game plan of the BJP.

Even the Congress state leaders who were earlier oozing with confidence that they will form the government in UIttarakhand are now having second thoughts. This has primarily been because of the fact that the BJP, which pollsters predicted would not even reach double digits in the 70-member House, managed to amend the situation by changing the Ramesh Pokhriyal as chief minister mid stream and replacing him with Khanduri.

But they feel that though the change may have benefited the party considerably, it was a belated step and as such the party may not be in a position to form the government on its own. The change in chief minister has impacted Garhwal division considerably, but not the Kumaon division to that extent and as such it is very likely that Congress will have the upper hand in Kumaon, they claimed.

A journalist with over 40 years of experience, Jagdish Bhatt is Editor Hill Post (Uttarakhand). Jagdish has worked with India's leading English dailies, which include Times of India, Indian Express, Pioneer and several other reputed publications. A highly acclaimed journalist, Jagdish is a recipient of many awards, latest being the 2011 Development Journalism Award. He lives in Dehra Dun.

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