Cong govt in U'khand has uncertain future

Cong govt in U'khand has uncertain future

Cong govt in U'khand has uncertain future

A precariously placed Congress government in Uttarakhand is staring at an uncertain future with political circles and public speculating about its fate if the ruling party fares badly in the Lok Sabha elections.

Congress leaders are confident that the party will scrape through even if the poll results are not exactly favourable. The BJP is playing it with caution. 

The composition of the 70-member Assembly is a riddle in itself. BJP’s B C Khanduri, a former Chief Minister, sums up the situation thus: “It’s not what Congress or BJP want, but what prevails is what the independents want.”

Congress with 33 MLAs cobbled up the support of three independents, three BSP MLAs and one Uttarakhand Kranti Dal member to cross the majority-mark of 36 and form the government. BJP has 30 MLAs in the present Assembly, which came into being in April 2012.

The talk in political circles is about the possible fall or change in government if Congress loses the Lok Sabha polls in the state. In the outgoing Lok Sabha, Congress has four seats against BJP's one. The ruling party had in 2009 won all the five seats but lost a bypoll in 2012 after Vijay Bahuguna resigned from Lok Sabha to become Chief Minister only to be removed two months ago.

Political analysts believe that if Narendra Modi forms a government at Centre, there could be a political re-alignment in the state leading to the fall of the state government.

Chief Minister Harish Rawat, who assumed power in February this year, is confident that Congress will sail through. "BJP cannot do any mischief. Many of these MLAs have won in a close contest. They would not risk their seats when winning again is not confirmed. As such, there is no trouble for government," he told Deccan Herald.

Congress is playing its cards close to its chest to ensure that the supporters do not desert them after the elections. "Relatives of two BSP MLAs have joined Congress. We also know our game," a Congress leader said.

BJP also appears in no hurry to bring down the government with the numbers not in favour of anyone. Opposition Leader Ajay Bhatt said BJP would not accelerate the pace of events. "Infighting in Congress is so much that the government can fall any time. BJP leadership's view is not to destabilise the government. If it falls on its own due to contradictions within itself, let it be," Bhatt told Deccan Herald.

Asked whether the BJP is ready to form the government, Bhatt said the party would analyse the situation and then take a position keeping in mind the "larger interest" of the state. "Rawat knows his government is in trouble," he said.