Dehradun: The Vijay Bahuguna-led Congress government Wednesday proved its majority in the assembly amidst a walkout by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
The request for a vote of confidence was moved by the chief minister when the session began.
Saying the election of the speaker was a testimony enough that his government enjoyed majority in the 70-member house, Bahuguna said it would still be prudent that a vote be taken.
Bedlam followed as the BJP demanded that a debate be taken up first. BJP members walked out once the request was not yielded.
The BJP legislators, led by former chief minister Ramesh Pokhariyal ‘Nishank’, then staged a sit-in at the gallery, raising anti-government slogans. Nishank said the government from day one was unconstitutional. “The government is indulging in dadagiri, this is not the way, this is an illegitimate government,” he fumed.
He further added that the government had made no efforts to strike a consensus even in the election of the speaker, forcing the BJP to put up its candidate.
Chief Minister Bahuguna maintained that due procedure was followed in the vote and that his government got 39 votes.
The Congress government in the hill state has been walking on ice-thin majority since Bahuguna was named the chief minister by the party, leading to protests by Congress leader and central minister Harish Rawat.
His supporters led by Harak Singh Rawat initially refused to be sworn in as legislators. They fell in line only a few days back.
The Congress strength is delicately poised in the 70-member house as it holds 32 seats, just one ahead of the BJP.
With the support of a Uttarakhand Kranti Dal (UKD) legislator and the support of three BSP members, it formed the government.