Updated March 1st, 2024 at 19:09 IST

Himachal Pradesh Political Crisis: CM Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu Holds Meet With Assembly Speaker

Himachal Pradesh Political Crisis: The meeting is reportedly being held to discuss the disqualification of rebel Congress MLAs.

Reported by: Apoorva Shukla
Himachal Political Crisis | Image:Republic Digital
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Himachal Pradesh Political Crisis: Amid ongoing political turmoil in Himachal Pradesh following the Congress candidate's defeat in the Rajya Sabha elections, 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. The Congress has claimed that all is well within and the Sukhu government will complete its term, while the disqualified MLAs have moved the High Court. 

Highlights of Himachal Pradesh political crisis.

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CM Sukhu Holds Meeting With Himachal Assembly Speaker

A crucial meeting with Himachal Pradesh Assembly Speaker is underway at the Vidhan Sabha in which Chief Minister Sukhu, along with his cabinet colleagues, are present. Sources tell Republic that the meeting is being held to discuss the disqualification of rebel Congress MLAs. Noteworthily, CM Sukhu had earlier mentioned that few MLAs were regretting rebelling against the Congress Party.

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Pratibha Singh Opposes Decision to Disqualify MLAs 

Congress Himachal Pradesh president Pratibha Singh has opposed the decision to disqualify the 6 MLAs who voted in favour of the BJP in the Rajya Sabha elections. Pratibha Singh, wife of former Himachal CM Virbhadra Singh, said that disqualification was a very harsh step and could have been avoided. 

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“MLAs are very upset, disqualification could have been avoided. Injustice has been done to them,” said Pratibha Singh. Pratibha Singh said that she wants to government which was elected by the people must complete its term. 

 

Vikramaditya Reaches Delhi 

Sources say that Vikramaditya Singh has reached Delhi after meeting the rebel Congress MLAs in Panchkula. However, the purpose of Vikramaditya's visit is yet to be known. 

 

Vikramaditya Meets Rebel Congress MLAs in Chandigarh 

Congress MLA Vikramaditya Singh will meet the rebel MLAs who have been disqualified at a hotel in Chandigarh, said sources. Singh arrived in Chandigarh yesterday night. 

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Political turmoil is over, differences have been ironed out: DK Shivakumar

Congress Party’s central observer and Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar on Thursday stated that the political turmoil in Himachal Pradesh is over and that all differences have been ironed out. The latest statement from Shivakumar has come up even though the State Assembly speaker disqualified six rebel Congress legislators over abstaining from voting on the Budget in the House.

Karnataka DyCM Shivakumar also said that it has been decided to form a coordination committee to sort out all internal matters and claimed the Congress government would complete its full term in the hill state.

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The announcements were made at a joint press conference which was also attended by two other central observers Bhupinder Hooda and Bhupesh Baghel along with Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu and Himachal Congress chief Pratibha Singh.

It has also been informed that Himachal CM Sukhu has taken the responsibility of Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi's defeat in the Rajya Sabha polls.

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Rebel Congress MLAs Move High Court 

Amid the ongoing political stir in Himachal Pradesh, the rebel Congress MLAs have moved to High Court.

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Jairam Thakur Tells BJP MLAs to Stay in Shimla

Jairam Thakur has called all BJP MLAs to Shimla, and instructed them to stay in Shimla only.

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Road Leading To Ravi Thakur’s House Reportedly Blocked

Road leading to rebel MLA Ravi Thakur's house has reportedly been blocked by some Congress members. Thakur's attempts to go towards his residence have been thwarted, and not even his family members are being allowed inside, Republic has learnt.

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Pratibha Singh Takes a Dig At Sukhu 

As son Vikramaditya Singh continues to rebel against CM Sukhu, state Congress president Pratibha Singh took a dig at Sukhu. Pratibha Singh said it was necessary for the MLAs to be upset. 

"When it has been more than a year and you take no cognizance or listen to them, it is natural for them to be upset. Had you sat them down, talked to them and found out a solution, this situation would not have occurred," said Pratibha Singh. 

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Situation Under Control: DK Shivakumar 

Appointed as the observer by Kharge, DK Shivakumar met MLA Vikramaditya Singh and Pratibha Singh. After meeting the leaders, DK Shivakumar claimed that all is well within the Congress party and the Congress government in Himachal will complete its term. 

"All is well. This govt will stay for 5 years. All issues have been sorted out. We are hearing all the MLAs. There is no problem in the government," said Congress observer DK Shivakumar after meeting with HP Congress leaders Vikramaditya Singh and Pratibha Singh in Shimla.

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Meeting at CM Sukhu Residence Ends 

Meeting called by CM Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu ends. It was held at Sukhu's Shimla residence under the observation of Karnataka Deputy CM DK Shivakumar, former Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel, former Haryana CM Bhupinder Singh Hooda. 

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Meeting at CM Sukhu Residence 

Karnataka Deputy CM DK Shivakumar, former Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel, former Haryana CM Bhupinder Singh Hooda and local Congress leaders and MLAs held a consultation at Himachal Pradesh CM Sukhwinder Singh Sukhu's residence in Shimla. 

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CM Sukhu had called a ‘breakfast meeting’ which was attended by around 30 MLAs. 
 

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Sukhu government has lost the mandate: BJP leader Rajiv Bindal 

The sentiment of people of Himachal Pradesh was visible in the Rajya Sabha elections. The Sukhu government has lost the mandate: BJP leader Rajiv Bindal 

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Disqualified in accordance with Anti-Defection Law: Himachal speaker 

On the decision to disqualify 6 rebel Congress MLAs, Kuldeep Singh Pathania said, “As per the anti-defection law, our secretariat received the petition filed against 6 legislators through the complainant who is also the Himachal Pradesh Parliamentary Affairs Minister Harsh Wardhan Chauhan. When a speaker acts under the 10th schedule then he does not enjoy the power and privileges of the speaker but his position is as a tribunal, here I am in the shape of a tribunal judge...This pronouncement is in reference to those observations made by the Supreme Court and High Courts in various judgments.”  

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6 Congress MLAs suspended by Himachal Speaker

Himachal Pradesh Assembly speaker has disqualified six Congress MLAs who defied party whip to vote in favour of government on Financial Bill

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 List of Disqualified MLAs 

  • Rajendra Rana 
  • Sudhir Sharma 
  • Devendra Bhutto 
  • Inderdutt Lakhanpal
  • Ravi Thakur 
  • Chaitanya Sharma

 

Vikramaditya Rebels Against CM Sukhu 

MLA Vikramaditya Singh skipped breakfast meeting called by chief minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu at his Shimla residence this morning. Around 30 MLAs have arrived at Sukhu's residence. 

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Sukhu Calls MLA Meet at Shimla residence 

Congress MLAs arrive at the Himachal Pradesh CM Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu’s residence in Shimla for the 'breakfast meeting' called by him. 

MLA Ashish Butail says, "It is an important meeting. Let's see what happens...This is an informal meeting..."

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"The CM has called everyone for breakfast. Let's see what discussions are taking place. We received the message last night. Our Government will continue under the leadership of the Chief Minister.

 

‘Won’t Take Back Resignation', Says Vikramaditya Singh

“I’m NOT taking back my resignation. I will just not press for it till a decision is taken. We had discussions with observers. Here is no pressure on resignations. Final outcome will come out soon”, said Vikramaditya Singh.

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Our Govt Is Safe, Claims Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu

After meeting with the Congress party Observers, Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu says, “Discussion was held regarding election, even as he claimed "our government is safe”.

‘I Do Not Take Pressure, I Give Pressure’: Vikramaditya Singh

Responding to a question on why his resignation has not been accepted yet, Congress leader Vikramaditya Singh told reporters in Shimla, "It is the Chief Minister's prerogative... I do not take the pressure. I give pressure..."

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‘Congress a Sinking Ship’: Vishnu Deo Sai on Himachal Political Crisis

Asserting that the Congress party has “completely lost its credibility”, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Vishnu Deo Sai said, "Those who have got the opportunity are leaving it behind".

Evaluating All Options, Won’t Hesitate in Taking Tough Decisions: Congress

Addressing reporters in New Delhi, Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh said party president Mallikarjun Kharge has sent three senior observers –  Bhupesh Baghel, Bhupinder Singh Hooda and DK Shivakumar –  to Shimla. 

DK Shivakumar meeting with Congress legislators in Himachal Pradesh. (Image courtesy: Republic)

The AICC in-charge of state Rajeev Shukla is also in the hill state. Congress president Kharge has asked observers and Shukla to speak with all MLAs, including those disgruntled, hear their point of view, and submit a comprehensive report to him soon, news agency PTI quoted Ramesh as saying. The future course of action will be decided after that, he further said. The report is likely to be submitted to Kharge by Thursday evening, PTI reported, citing party sources.

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Key Meeting of Congress Leaders Expected to Begin Soon

A key meeting of the Congress leaders to decide on the further strategy to fight the political crisis is expected to begin soon at a private hotel in the state. According to sources, another chopper has landed in Panchkula. Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar and Bhupendra Hooda left for Shimla from Chandigarh; both are expected to hold a meeting with the disgruntled Congress MLAs in Himachal.

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No Reason to Accept Vikramaditya Singh’s Resignation, Sukhvinder Sukhu Says

Claiming that one of the MLAs who had cross-voted for the BJP candidate in the recently-concluded Rajya Sabha polls “has sought forgiveness for betraying the party”, Himachal Pradesh CM Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu told news agency ANI, “People of the state will give them an answer.” Reacting to Vikramaditya Singh's resignation, Sukhu reportedly said, “I have spoken with Vikramaditya and he is my younger brother. There is no reason to accept his resignation. He has some grievances which will be addressed.”

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Hearing on Cross-Voting Allegations To Be Held Again Today, Advocate Satya Pal Jain Says

Speaking on the matter of notice served to the six Congress MLAs who voted for the BJP candidate in the Rajya Sabha elections yesterday, Advocate Satya Pal Jain told news agency ANI: “Notice has been served to them (by the Speaker) as to why they should not be disqualified under the anti-defection law. I appeared on their behalf and we have said that we have only received the notice, not the copy of the petition, so a copy of the petition should be handed over to us and after that, we will present our stand. As per Rule 7, a minimum time of seven days should be granted. The hearing will be held again today at 4 pm...”

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Congress Has Lost Majority, Vikramaditya Confirms

Former Minister Vikramaditya Singh, while speaking exclusively with Republic, has confirmed that the Congress government has lost majority in the state. 

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Budget Passed in Himachal Assembly 

Himachal Pradesh Assembly has passed the budget by voice vote, while the BJP MLAs staged a walkout. The House has been adjourned sine die.

‘I am not scared’: CM Sukhu presents united front 

With sources saying that CM Sukhu has agreed to tender resignation, CM Sukhu claimed that the Congress is united and will win the vote on finance bill. 

“BJP is spreading rumours of my resignation. They want to create a break in the legislative party. They want Congress MLAs to leave the party and join them. Congress is united. I am not someone who will get scared and I can say this with guarantee, that Congress is going to win when the Budget will be presented. The budget will be passed today,” said Sukhu. 

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Rebel MLAs are in contact with Congress: CM Sukhu 

“Some of the MLAs who voted for BJP are in our contact,” said CM Sukhu ahead of budget. “Neither anyone asked for my resignation nor I have presented my resignation to anyone. We will prove the majority. We will win, the people of Himachal will win,” he said. 

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Jairam Thakur Claims Support of 6 Congress MLAs 

On being asked about 6 Congress MLAs and 3 independent MLAs, Himachal Pradesh LoP Jairam Thakur said, “They have voted for BJP's candidate during the Rajya Sabha elections. They are with us. There can be many others.” 

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CM Sukhu May Resign, Says Jairam Thakur 

Jairam Thakur said that CM Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu resign from the CM post. “This government has lost all the moral rights to stay in power. As far as I have been informed, CM Sukhu has also presented his resignation inside the House. Maybe the high command has asked him I am not sure,” said Thakur. 

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We Told Governor That BJP MLAs Can be Suspended: Thakur 

After 15 BJP MLAs were suspended by the speaker, Jairam Thakur said, “We went to meet the Governor in the morning today and I said that since Congress does not have the majority to pass the Budget in the Assembly, the Speaker will suspend BJP MLAs. Today, as soon we entered the Assembly, 15 BJP MLAs were suspended and were taken out of the Assembly by the marshals. This is highly condemnable.” 

BJP MLAs suspended by Himachal Speaker 

15 MLAs of the Bharatiya Janata Party has been suspended by the speaker. 

15 BJP MLAs including LoP Jairam Thakur, Vipin Singh Parmar, Randheer Sharma, Lokender Kumar, Vinod Kumar, Hans Raj, Janak Raj, Balbir Verma, Trilok Jamwal, Surender Shori, Deep Raj, Puran Thakur, Inder Singh Gandhi, Dileep Thakur and Inder Singh Gandhi, have been expelled by the Assembly Speaker for allegedly shouting slogans and misconduct in the Chamber of Speaker today.

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6 Rebel Congress MLAs To Reach Assembly Soon 

The Congress MLAs who voted in favour of the BJP have will be flying from Panchkula. Once they arrive in Shmila the rebel MLAs and are expected to arrive in the Himachal Pradesh assembly for the budget session. 

Speaker Meets Governor Shukla 

Himachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly Speaker  Kuldeep Singh Pathania met Governor Shri Shiv Pratap Shukla at Raj Bhavan today at 9.30 am

 

BJP Government in Himachal Within Hours: Harsh Mahajan

As the Congress is searching for CM Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu's replacement, Rajya Sabja elect Harsh Mahajan claimed that BJP will form its government in Himachal very soon. “BJP is going to form its government in the state. Some more MLAs of Congress are in touch with us. I got phone calls from some of their MLAs and ministers. The situation is going to change in the next few hours and you will see BJP will form its govt soon. For the next 10-20 years, Congress is not going to come to power here,” said Mahajan. 

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“People are upset with the Sukhu government. All good leaders are joining BJP. It is a future party...There has been cross-voting. On today's date, Congress has lost its majority in the state. This Govt is not going to last for long,” he added. 

Congress To Seek Disqualification of Rebel MLAs

The Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu government of Himachal Pradesh may move to the Speaker seeking disqualification of the rebel MLAs who voted in favour of the BJP in the Rajya Sabha elections, said sources. 

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Congress Issues Notice to Rebel MLAs

DK Shivkumar and Bhupinder Hooda have called Congress rebel MLAs at 1.30 pm and issued notice to them to come back to party else action will be taken. Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge appointed senior leaders Bhupinder Singh Hooda and D K Shivakumar to engage with the six MLAs, who are learnt to be "disappointed" with the working style of Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu and are seeking his replacement.

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LoP Jairam Ramesh Meets Governor, BJP Demands Division in Votes 

LoP Jairam Thakur has demanded division of votes while passing the Finance Bill (state budget) presented today by the Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu government as he met the Himachal governor Shiv Pratap Shukla. If the government is in majority, the bill is passed through voice votes. 

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“We have informed the Governor about what happened in the Assembly recently.We informed him about the behaviour of the Speaker towards the Opposition MLAs. In the Assembly, when we demanded division of vote during the financial bill, it was not allowed and the House was adjourned twice,” said Jairam Thakur. 

“After that, the way Marshal behaved with our MLAs was not right. MLAs were attacked by the Marshals. MLAs were injured, this has never happened in the Himachal Pradesh Assembly. BJP candidate Harsh Mahajan won the Rajya Sabha elections...Currently, the Congress government has lost the moral right to stay in power,” Thakur added. 

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BJP MLAs Flag Speaker's Behaviour in Assembly 

The BJP has allege that Opposition MLAs were silenced by the sitting speaker of Haryana Legislative assembly. After meting Governor BJP MLA Vipin Singh Parmar said, “We have spoken to the Governor regarding the behaviour of the speaker inside the Assembly. Whenever cut motion is moved, a debate happens on that, and cut motion is the right of opposition. On the basis of that vote division happens. The way voice of the oppositon was silenced. When we went to the speaker to tell him about this, we were mishandled. We came here today, regarding this.” 

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BJP Leaders to Meet Himachal Governor 

BJP's Jai Ram Thakur and Jeet Ram Katwal have reached Raj Bhavan to meet Governor Shiv Pratap Shukla. 'The Congress government has lost the moral right to stay in power, said Jairam Thakur upon arriving at Raj Bhavan. 

 “We are not being heard in the Vidhan Sabha. Whenever we demand division during the financial bill, it is not allowed. The House is getting adjourned without our permission. Congress government has lost the moral right to stay in power. The damage that has been done is irreparable,” said Thakur. 

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Sources said BJP Legislature Party leaders led by Jai Ram Thakur would meet the Governor and demand a floor test, claiming that the Congress government has lost majority in the assembly.

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LoP Demands Sukhu's Resignation

Leader of Opposition Jai Ram Thakur and Himachal BJP chief Rajiv Bindal have demanded resignation of the CM following the Singhvi's defeat.

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All About Rajya Sabha Elections in Himachal Pradesh 

In a stunning move, the Bharatiya Janata Party secured the lone Rajya Sabha seat of Himachal Pradesh with its candidate Harsh Mahajan defeating Congress stalwart Abhishek Manu Singhvi. This comes as a shock as to the Congress party which had a clear majority in the state. 

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The voting 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.

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. 

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Published February 28th, 2024 at 07:49 IST