Himachal Pradesh: Six Congress MLAs disqualified by assembly speaker

The remaining three seats are held by independents.

PTI | Shimla | Updated: 29-02-2024 14:35 IST | Created: 29-02-2024 14:35 IST
Himachal Pradesh: Six Congress MLAs disqualified by assembly speaker
  • Country:
  • India

Himachal Pradesh Assembly Speaker Kuldeep Singh Pathania on Thursday disqualified six Congress MLAs who had cross-voted in the recent Rajya Sabha polls for the lone seat in the state.

They had also abstained from voting on the Budget in the assembly, defying a party whip to vote in favour of the government on the Finance Bill. This was stated to be the reason for their disqualification.

The disqualified MLAs are Rajinder Rana, Sudhir Sharma, Inder Dutt Lakhanpal, Devinder Kumar Bhutoo, Ravi Thakur and Chetanya Sharma.

Amid the crisis, Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu held a breakfast meeting with party MLAs at his official residence, in an apparent show of unity.

''It is just a get-together and let us see what happens in the meeting,'' Harish Janartha, an MLA from Shimla Urban seat, said before the meeting.

What transpired at the meeting and how many MLAs were present there could not be ascertained immediately but most of the legislators asserted that the government was stable and would last its full term.

While the breakfast meeting was underway, Himachal Pradesh Assembly Speaker Pathania announced the disqualification of the six rebel Congress MLAs. Addressing reporters here, Pathania, who reserved his verdict on the disqualification of the MLAs on Wednesday, said the legislators attracted the anti-defection law by defying the Congress whip as they were elected on the party's tickets.

''These six MLAs are disqualified and cease to be members of Himachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly with immediate effect,'' the Speaker said.

These MLAs had cross-voted in favour of BJP candidate Harsh Mahajan in the Rajya Sabha elections on Tuesday. Later, they abstained from voting on the budget in the assembly.

The House passed the Finance Bill by voice vote after Pathania suspended 15 BJP MLAs. The Speaker then adjourned the session sine die.

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.

Amid a fresh scramble for power in the state, Himachal Pradesh Public Works Minister Vikramaditya Singh on Wednesday announced that he was quitting the Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu cabinet but hours later he said that he would not press for his resignation.

Congress's central observers Bhupinder Singh Hooda and D K Shivakumar held one-on-one meetings with party MLAs at a hotel near the Vidhan Sabha building here, but the six legislators who cross-voted during the Rajya Sabha polls were not in the town.

They were flown back to Panchkula after appearing for a hearing on a petition on anti-defection law before Speaker Pathania.

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.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Give Feedback