Alleging horse-trading by Congress, the BJP on Tuesday admitted defeat after the conclusion of two-hour long Supreme Court-monitored trust vote proceedings in the Uttarakhand Assembly. The official results of the trust vote will be announced by the apex court on Wednesday. However, going by the media reports, it is almost clear that former Congress chief minister Harish Rawat has survived the trust vote and proved majority in the 70-member House.
Congress sources claimed Mr Rawat has won the trust vote with the support of 33 lawmakers, two more than he needed for majority. With nine Congress rebels barred from voting, the strength of the 70-member assembly was 61.
In what appeared to confirm that Mr. Rawat had won, a BJP lawmaker said the party was “ready to sit in the opposition.” Sources said 28 lawmakers voted for the BJP in today’s trust vote.
While Rawat refused to reveal the result while speaking to mediapersons, he and other Congress MLAs flashed the victory sign and thanked the Supreme Court for the floor test. He further said, “I thank the Supreme Court, democratic forces, people of Uttarakhand and gods. Uttarakhand will be victorious tomorrow (on Wednesday).”
The BJP, on the other hand, appeared defensive. While BJP MLA Ganesh Joshi accused the Congress of using money power, he also conceded that the Congress had won.
“Today democracy has lost and money power has won,” he said.
Earlier, the BSP had announced that its two MLAs Sarwat Karim Ansari and Haridas would support Congress in the floor test of Uttarakhand early on Tuesday morning. The development is not unexpected as both the MLAs were part of six-member Progressive Democratic Front (PDF) that was already supporting the Harish Rawat led Congress government. However, the BSP’s move is significant for UP politics. A BSP leader said that party strategically decided to announce support for Congress at last moment to give a message that it was against the BJP.
BSP sources said that the BSP preferred the Congress because the most important factor is the Muslim vote. The BSP needs Muslim voters to defeat the Akhilesh Yadav led Samajwadi Party government of UP and regain power in the state where the party did not win a single seat in the Lok Sabha polls despite being the main opposition party.