Uttarakhand Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna, who was desperately looking for a safe seat to contest Assembly bypoll, may soon find a seat as a couple of MLAs from Congress and Opposition BJP have expressed their desire to vacate their seats for him.
Following this development Bahuguna along with State PCC president Yashpal Arya went to Delhi to consult top leaders of Congress to confirm whether he can contest from a seat vacated by a BJP MLA.
Sources said that CM Bahuguna is expected to make an announcement regarding his plan to contest Assembly election after June 8 when the Vidhan Sabha session ends. Talking to The Pioneer, Arya said that he was not aware about the BJP MLA Kiran Mandal’s missing report or about speculation on him joining Congress. He further said that he came to know through media about this development in the State.
The move comes after a couple of BJP MLAs in the hill State have expressed their desire to vacate their seat for CM Bahuguna. Sitarganj MLA Kiran Mandal, has reportedly told the BJP high command that he is not happy in the party and is taking the step in the larger interest of the people of his constituency.
Mandal wants permanent resident status for all Bengalis settled in Sitarganj as a quid pro quo for his resignation. Sources said that Congress high command has given assurance that if he vacates his seat, the Congress would give him a ticket to contest the bypoll from the same constituency. With this party’s numerical strength would increase making it immune to ‘black mailing’.
Ironically, Congress senior leader belonging to the faction against Bahuguna, has opposed the idea of a BJP MLA vacating his seat for Bahuguna saying Congress should not follow the “bad precedent” set by the saffron party in 2007 when a Congress MLA had vacated the Dhumakot seat for the then Chief Minister Maj Gen Bhuwan Chandra Khanduri.
Talking to The Pioneer, State PCC vice president Suryakant Dhasmana said “five Congress MLAs including Vijaypal Sajwan (Gangotri), Subodh Uniyal (Narendranagar), Umesh Sharma ‘Kau’ (Raipur), Anusuya Prasad Maikhuri (Karnprayag) and Madan Singh Bisht (Dwarhaat) have offered their seat to the Chief Minister.
Dhasmana also claimed that five BJP MLAs including two from Garhwal division and three from Kumaon division have also offered their seats. If this happens then Congress would reach the figure of 38 seats including one nominated MLA from Anglo India community. The Uttarakhand Assembly has strength of 70 with Congress bagging 32 seats against BJP’s 31 in the recently held Assembly elections. All the seven non-Congress including three BSP, one UKD (P) and three independent MLAs are supporting the Congress Government.
Src: The Pioneer