29 Feb 2024

Six Rebel Himachal Congress MLAs Disqualified; How Will It Help Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu Government?

Six members of the Himachal Pradesh Congress party, who opted to vote for the BJP during the Rajya Sabha elections, have been officially disqualified from the assembly, as announced by the Speaker today.

The disqualified MLAs are Rajinder Rana, Sudhir Sharma, Ravi Thakur, Inder Dutt Lakhanpal, Chaitanya Sharma and Devender Bhutto.

The BJP had previously applauded and commended the six MLAs for their 'courage' when they arrived at the assembly after spending the previous night in BJP-governed Haryana. However, their move has now led to disqualification.

Speaker Kuldeep Singh Pathania declared today that these members were disqualified for disregarding the party's directive to vote in favor of the government on the Finance Bill during the previous day's session. Following the suspension of 15 BJP MLAs, the assembly successfully passed the state Budget.

The actions of the six MLAs were deemed a violation of the anti-defection law, as stated by the Speaker.

The disqualification of these MLAs marks the conclusion of a brief period of uncertainty for the ruling Congress in Himachal Pradesh. The fear of a potential return to power by the BJP through a no-trust vote subsides, given that the six MLAs had sided with the state's Opposition party in the Rajya Sabha election.

Strength of the House has now reduced to 62

The strength of the House has now reduced to 64 after the Speaker’s disqualification move against these six Congress rebels, with magic majority mark currently standing at 33.

Given the current situation, there is no immediate danger to the Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu government since it claims to enjoy the support of the remaining 34 MLAs of the party.

But the danger is not fully over since any further defections in the party may spell doom for the Sukhu government and trigger its collapse – something the BJP is eyeing.

While the Congress leadership claims that their Himachal government is safe and will complete a full five years, there is also no denying to the fact that it nows sits on the fence of a majority mark.

Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra questioned the BJP's intentions, with just 25 MLAs, attempting to destabilize the Himachal Pradesh government.

With the disqualification of the six members, the Congress now holds 34 seats in the 62-member house. Three independent MLAs, who initially supported the Congress, also cross-voted for the BJP in the Rajya Sabha election.

Priyanka Gandhi Vadra expressed her concerns on the microblogging platform X, stating, "In democracy, the public has the right to choose the government of their choice. The people of Himachal Pradesh used this right and formed the Congress government with a clear majority. But BJP wants to crush this right of the people by misusing money power, power of agencies, and power of the Centre," in Hindi.

A factor contributing to the threat to the Congress government in Himachal is Vikramaditya Singh's opposition to Sukhu.

CM Sukhu addressed the situation by calling Vikramaditya Singh his younger brother and urged him to share his concerns. Vikramaditya Singh, in a media appearance, hinted at a possible resignation but maintained a flexible stance, stating, "Until a decision is taken, I will not insist on my resignation. The final decision will be taken in the coming time."

Pratibha Singh, Congress President in Himachal Pradesh and Vikramaditya Singh's mother, clarified that Vikramaditya had resigned from the cabinet, not the party. She added that the resignation had not been accepted, and the observers would determine the next course of action.

No comments:

Post a Comment