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Himachal political crisis: Six Congress MLAs who cross-voted for BJP disqualified from assembly

With the disqualification of 6 Congress MLAs from the Himachal Pradesh Assembly, the strength of the Sukhu government reduced to 34 from 40. However, his government is safe with a thin majority in the House.

Raju Kumar Edited By: Raju Kumar @rajudelhi123 Shimla Updated on: February 29, 2024 12:02 IST
Himachal Pradesh Assembly Speaker Kuldeep Singh Pathania
Image Source : ANI Himachal Pradesh Assembly Speaker Kuldeep Singh Pathania

Himachal Pradesh Assembly Speaker Kuldeep Singh Pathania on Thursday pronounced his order on the plea demanding the disqualification of 6 rebel Congress MLAs who cross-voted during Rajya Sabha elections. The Speaker disqualified all 6 Congress MLAs. The petition was filed by Congress MLA and state Minister Harsh Wardhan Chauhan under the Anti-Defection Law for disqualification.

The order comes moments after Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu on Thursday hosted a 'breakfast meeting' with Congress MLAs at his residence in Shimla amid buzz over his ousting as CM of the state. According to the sources, 32 MLAs out of 40 attend the meeting. The meeting is seen as an effort to mobilise MLAs in his support and a show of strength.

Cross-voting triggers Himachal political crisis

In a stunning upset for the ruling Congress in Himachal Pradesh, the BJP on Tuesday won the state's lone Rajya Sabha seat with its candidate Harsh Mahajan defeating Congress stalwart Abhishek Manu Singhvi and apparently setting the stage for a no-trust motion in the assembly. The voting on Tuesday was a tie with both the Congress and the BJP candidates getting 34 votes, indicating that at least six Congress MLAs voted against the party. The result was then declared on the basis of a draw of lots, officials said.

In the 68-member Himachal Pradesh Assembly, the Congress has 40 MLAs while the BJP has 25 legislators. The remaining three seats are held by independents.

Will run government for five years, says CM Sukhu

Sukhu, who is facing a threat of losing the CM post, asserted that his government will complete the full term of five years. "Neither the high command has asked me nor anyone else for resignation and there is no such thing," Sukhu told reporters while replying to a question. 

'Operation Lotus': Sukhu slams BJP

He said, "The kind of work done by the state BJP leaders. They did not trust their own people. CRPF was deployed. Haryana Police was deployed. A helicopter was used."

"But I want to say one thing the people of Himachal are with us and MLAs are with us and I can definitely say that we will run the Himachal government for five years," said Sukhu.

Asked whether it was because of the "Operation Lotus" or "own people" that led to the current situation, the chief minister said, "Some mistakes may have been made and because of those mistakes, there may have been some deficiencies. But The kind of 'tantar-mantar' used in the 'Operation Lotus' that had bigger (role) in it."

Also read: Sheikh Shahjahan arrested by West Bengal Police amid Sandeshkhali row 

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