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Congress rebel lawmakers barred from voting in show of strength

The Supreme Court barred nine rebel Congress lawmakers from participating in a trust vote in Uttarakhand, in what could potentially boost sacked chief minister Harish Rawat’s chances of saving his government, on Monday.

The lawmakers had approached the top court after the Uttarakhand high court’s refusal to quash their disqualification by state assembly speaker Govind Singh Kunjwal.

“The prayer for interim relief can be considered on the date of next hearing,” an apex court bench of Justices Dipak Mishra and Shiva Kirti Singh said.

The case will be heard again on July 12.

With the disqualification of nine legislators,  the 71-member assembly’s strength has now reduced to 62, which includes the speaker.

Rawat will need support of 31 MLAs to win the show of strength.

The Congress has 27 lawmakers, excluding the nine disqualified rebels. Congress hopes to qualify the show of strength with the support of six Progressive Democratic Front (PDF) members and the nominated member.

While, the BJP too has 27 lawmakers, excluding a dissident, the party claims to have support of a woman Congress MLA who is said to be contact with BJP veteran Bhagat Singh Koshyari. BJP is counting on BSP support to prove its strength.

The state sank into crisis after nine Congress MLAs sided with the opposition BJP during a debate on the budget in March.

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