Dehradun: Suspense continued over the fate of the nine rebel Congress MLAs ahead of the trial of strength in Uttarakhand Assembly as lawyers of these legislators on Sunday met Speaker Govind Singh Kunjwal in a last ditch attempt to prevent action against them.
About half-a-dozen lawyers met Kunjwal in his chamber in the state Assembly seeking personal hearing and more evidence in support of the charges levelled against the MLAs in the disqualification notice served to them by the Speaker just a day after trouble erupted in the state assembly on 18 March.
It was their second meeting with the Speaker in two days. They had met him yesterday seeking personal hearing in the matter, a request turned down by the Speaker. According to sources, replies to show cause notices issued to the MLAs are being examined and consultations are being held with legal experts on the issue.
Citing security reasons, the entry of mediapersons is not being allowed in the premises. Chief Minister Harish Rawat and the Speaker held a prolonged meeting which went late into the night at the latter's residence.
However, sources in the CMO said notification disqualifying the rebel MLAs is yet to be issued. Disqualification of the rebel MLAs, which is being considered almost a certainty in political circles here, will deprive them of the right to vote against Harish Rawat government which is slated to go for a floor test on Monday in the state assembly.
It will reduce the effective strength of the House from 70 to 61 and the simple majority figure from 36 to 31 which is likely to make Chief Minister Rawat's task easier. Rawat is left with 27 Congress MLAs after nine revolted against him. He also has the support of the six-member PDF which take the tally to 33, two more than the simple majority mark in the House.
BJP, on the other hand, has 28 MLAs of its own and nine of Congress who if disqualified will be of no use to it at the time of voting in the state assembly. However, it claims at least five more MLAs on the other side are only waiting to cross over to its side. BJP sources said state BJP MLAs, who were travelling to various places like Delhi, Gurgaon and Jaipur, are expected to reach Dehradun by tonight.