27 Feb 2024

Rajya Sabha Elections-2024: Cross-voting by 8 to 9 Congress MLAs in Himachal Pradesh; has CM Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu led Govt lost majority?

Reports of cross-voting by 8 to 9 Congress MLAs during the Rajya Sabha Elections-2024 in Himachal Pradesh have raised concerns about the stability of the ruling Congress government. Leader of Opposition Jairam Thakur asserts that the Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu-led government has lost its majority.

For the lone Rajya Sabha seat, the Congress nominated Abhishek Manu Singhvi, while the BJP fielded Harsh Mahajan. The Congress, wary of cross-voting, assigned ministers to monitor its MLAs. 

Despite issuing a whip, several Congress MLAs reportedly cross-voted, including Rajendra Rana, Sudhir Sharma, Ravi Thakur, Chaitanya Sharma, Indra Dutt Lakhanpal, and Devendra Bhutto. Independent legislators Ashish Sharma, KL Thakur, and Hoshiar Singh also allegedly supported BJP's Harsh Mahajan.

Jairam Thakur hints at floor test

CM Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu expressed concern about non-compliance with the whip, condemning the BJP's attempts to influence Congress MLAs. Jairam Thakur hinted at a potential floor test, stating that the government appears to have lost its majority after the Budget discussion.

With 68 members in the Himachal Pradesh legislative assembly, the majority mark is 35. The Congress has 40 MLAs, the BJP has 25. Congress claims the support of three independent MLAs, totaling 43. If at least nine legislators switch sides, the Congress government could face collapse.

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