Political uncertainty continues in Uttarakhand

Congress governments survival in Uttarakhand hinges on Court's verdict

Dehradun : With the Uttarakhand High Court having reserved its judgment over the disqualification of the nine rebel cases for May 9, uncertainty over the outcome of the floor test continues, as it still remain in limbo whether it will be on the full strength of the House of 71 (including one nominated with voting powers) or on a truncated strength minus the disqualified nine.

Apparently the High Court wanted to give the least possible time for either the Congress or the BJP to knock on the doors of the Supreme Court, for it is sure that in either case one or the other party will approach the apex court. Should the High Court give a nod to the Speaker’s verdict of disqualifying the nine rebel MLAs, the BJP will approach the apex court in the other case it will be the Congress.

It is almost certain that a battery of lawyers of both the parties will be present at the Supreme Court on Monday, when the single bench of the Uttarakhand High Court delivers its verdict  in the morning. Though as of now it is not known which side the verdict will go, but both the leaders of the BJP and the Congress are optimistic that they judgment will be in their favour.

Interestingly should the nine rebels be disqualified it is apparent on numbers that the Congress supported by the PDF comprising two MLAs of the BSP, one of the UKD and three independents and the nominated member stands to win the floor test, provided the BJP has not managed to make inroads and poached some of the MLAs.

Ironically, the BJP state leaders are confident that in either case they stand to win. Should the nine rebel members disqualification be held null and void by the High Court, the BJP, whose strength of 28 has been reduced by one, as Bhim Lal Arya is siding with the Congress are sure of winning the floor test. “But even if the rebels stay disqualified we will win hands down”, claim party leaders.

There are fears that some of the PDF members, particularly those belonging to the BSP may have been bought over and also some of the Congress MLAs, who are close to senior BJP leader Satpal Maharaj (once in the Congress) may prove their loyalties to him and vote against the Congress party despite the whip that will be issued.

Elections to the state vidhan sabha are due early next year and as such if the BJP wins the floor test it will be in power for just over six months. But what is important and perhaps this is why all the political maneuvering is going about is that the party would want that the elections are held while it is in power in the state to get the necessary mileage.

For the Congress it is not only the issue of holding the elections under its umbrella but also the fact that it will get to expose the BJP rule centre for deliberately pulling down an elected government in this small hill state. This Congress leaders feel will give it much needed ammunition to take on the BJP and the Centre at the hustings, as and when the time come.

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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