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Naveen's voice vote was illegal, Governor tells Centre

Naveen's voice vote was illegal, Governor tells Centre

Author: Maneesh Chhibber
Publication: The Indian Express
Date: March 20, 2009
URL: http://www.indianexpress.com/news/naveens-voice-vote-was-illegal-governor-tells-centre/436835/

Orissa looks set for President's Rule if the Centre accepts the recommendation of Governor M C Bhandare.

Sources said that in his confidential report on the situation in the state after the BJP, which was part of the ruling alliance headed by the Biju Janata Dal (BJD), walked out of the government, Bhandare has concluded that the Naveen Patnaik Government had not been able to prove its majority on March 11 when it faced a vote of no-confidence.

Sources said the government would "examine" the report and send its recommendation to the President for communication to the Governor. Lok Sabha and Assembly elections in the state have been announced for April 16 and 23.

While Orissa Speaker and Chief Minister Patnaik have both claimed that the government won the trust vote through a voice vote, the Governor has refused to buy this claim.

In his report, submitted earlier this week to the President, the Governor, a former advocate of the Supreme Court, has said that only a headcount or voting by legislators could have proved if the state government enjoyed the support of the majority of MLAs. He is also learnt to have said that voice vote has no legality and its use made the trust vote inconclusive.

His report, sources told The Indian Express, also contains video recording of the proceedings of the Assembly on the day the voice vote took place.

With a House strength of 147, the Patnaik Government needed the support of at least 74 MLAs to prove its majority in the Assembly.

The BJD has 61 MLAs, including the Speaker. Of the other parties whose support the Government had claimed to enjoy, the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha has four MLAs while the NCP has two, the CPI has one and the CPM has one MLA.

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