Advertisement

Updated February 28th, 2024 at 05:15 IST

After Rajya Sabha Debacle, Sukhu Govt Faces Do-or-Die Battle With In-Form BJP on Himachal Budget Day

On Budget Day, Congress will be locked in a do-or-die battle with the BJP in a bid to hold on to its last bastion in the Hindi belt ahead of the Lok Sabha Polls

Reported by: Digital Desk
Himachal CM Sukhwinder Singh Sukhu
Himachal CM Sukhwinder Singh Sukhu | Image:PTI
Advertisement

Shimla: The Congress in Himachal Pradesh finds itself in a fix. In a terrible turn of events, the Grand Old Party ended up losing the lone Rajya Sabha seat and now, stands losing the state to BJP. With all odds stacked against them, BJP staged a spectacular comeback that knocked the wind out of Congress in the recently-concluded Rajya Sabha polls in Himachal.

"Those who sup with us..," said Congress candidate Abhishek Manu Singhvi said with a whiff of betrayal in his tone while conceding defeat soon after six of his party MLAs went to Haryana. "The nine persons have taught me a lot of about human nature – fickleness and resoluteness," said Singhvi, adding that the nine legislators fled after dining and having breakfast with him.

Advertisement

In a last bid to save the Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu government, the party has sent Karnataka Deputy CM DK Shivkumar and Former CM of Haryana Bhupinder Singh Hooda to douse the fire of separation. Briefing both Shivakumar and Hooda about the incident, Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge has sent them to the state as observers. Shivakumar has been placed with the responsibility of bringing the disgruntled legislators back. Following the meeting, the observers will be sending a report back to the High Command. The rebel MLAs are reportedly against Sukhu's style of governance and wants him replaced.

Both Time And Luck Running Out For Congress?

With six Congress MLAs and three Independents cross-voting, the results between BJP and Congress were tied at 34 each for the lone Rajya Sabha seat that went to election this year in the 68-member Vidhan Sabha. Left to chance, BJP's Harsh Mahajan emerged victorious out of a draw of lots. The close nature of the contest suggests that the Sukhu government might have a hard time passing the litmus test.

What makes it even more interesting is the timing of it all. The development comes on the eve of the state budget. According to our Constitution, if the state budget fails to pass, then the cabinet has to resign as the government of the day loses the confidence of the House. So, both Shivakumar and Hooda has to work against time to get Congress out of this mess.

Advertisement

How Does The Number Stack Up?

Leader of Opposition Jai Ram Thakur is slated to meet Governor Shiv Pratap Shukla to demand a division of votes akin to a floor test for passing the budget. As of now, both BJP and Congress are in a neck-and-neck fight. Prior to the Rajya Sabha polls, the Congress government had 40 MLAs and the backing of 3 Independents. The BJP had 25 MLAs. However, with nine MLAs deserting the camp, the Sukhu government is left with only 34 MLAs. If Shivakumar and Hooda are not able to bring the rebels back, the Congress can expel them for going against the whip as has been the norm in past instances of cross-voting in Rajya Sabha elections. In that case, the 68-member Assembly will shrink to 62 members where the new magic number will be 31. The Speaker, who belongs to the ruling party, cannot exercise his voting rights in this regard. In this situation, the Congress might sail through.

Advertisement

With both time and luck running out, will Sukhu be able to keep his flock together? On Budget Day, Congress will be locked in a do-or-die battle with the BJP in a bid to hold on to its last bastion in the Hindi belt ahead of the Lok Sabha Elections.

 

 

Advertisement

Published February 28th, 2024 at 04:58 IST

Your Voice. Now Direct.

Send us your views, we’ll publish them. This section is moderated.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Whatsapp logo