Himachal Pradesh: Congress Disqualifies Rebel MLAs; Forms Committee To Patch Up Party-Sukhu Government Tift

Himachal Pradesh: Congress Disqualifies Rebel MLAs; Forms Committee To Patch Up Party-Sukhu Government Tift

Despite disqualification of the six party MLAs, the Sukhu-led Congress government is still in majority with 34 members in House of 68.

Rajesh MoudgilUpdated: Thursday, February 29, 2024, 09:01 PM IST
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CM Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu | ANI

Chandigarh: Even as the six Congress legislators who cross-voted in the Tuesday’s Himachal Pradesh Rajya Sabha election, were disqualified by the state assembly Speaker on Thursday, the political storm in the hill state seemed to have waned for now with the team rushed by the party high command forming a six-member panel to patch up the rift between the party and Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu government.

Notably, despite disqualification of the six party MLAs, the Sukhu-led Congress government is still in majority with 34 members in House of 68. While Congress now has 34 members, the BJP has 25 and there are three independent law makers. The disqualified MLAs are Rajinder Rana, Sudhir Sharma, Indradutt Lakhanpal, Ravi Thakur, Chaitanya Sharma and Davinder Kumar (Bhutto).

Even though the Sukhu government got its budget passed by voice vote on Wednesday, a crisis stared at it as the budget was passed in absence of all the BJP members as well as the six Congress MLAs, who had cross-voted in the Tuesday’s Rajya Sabha election and the three independent members.

The humiliating cross-voting by the party MLAs had led to Congress’ Abhishek Manu Singhvi’s defeat despite the party having a clear majority. BJP’s Harsh Mahajan had thus clinched the RS seat.

Stunned by the said storm, the Congress high command had rushed a team comprising Karnataka deputy chief minister D K Shivakumar and Haryana former chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, among others, who held meetings with the disgruntled MLAs as well as state Congress chief Pratibha Singh, her MLA son Vikramaditya Singh, who were vocal over the neglect of the party workers.

Vikramaditya who had also resigned from Sukhu’s Cabinet amid the crisis and was also said to have withdrawn his resignation. Even though the Central team had a meeting with all the party MLAs at the CM’s residence in the morning, it was skipped by Vikramaditya.

However, Shivkumar and Hooda who briefed the newspersons along with Pratibha Singh later in the evening held that "all was well with the party’" and that a six-member coordination committee had been formed having CM, deputy CM and the party state chief (while names of the remaining three would be announced later) to sort out all the issues in the party and the government. "Though it is sad news for you, the MLAs have also been told not to go to the media but sort their issues with the party committee," Hooda said in a lighter vein.

Shivkumar said that there was no problem in the Congress and the state government would complete its term. Pertinently, none of the leaders offered a pointed answer to the volley of questions whether Sukhvinder Singh would remain CM for the party's remaining term.

CM Sukhu said that BJP had made a futile attempt to destabilise the Congress government which has an absolute majority.

The chief minister further said that even though the party was willing to forgive the six rebel MLAs, they would not be able to face the people of the state.

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