Himachal: 6 Cong MLAs, who cross-voted in RS polls, leave Panchkula for undisclosed location


PTI, Feb 28, 2024, 11:11 AM IST

Representative image (Source: PTI)

Panchkula: Six Congress MLAs, who voted for the BJP candidate in the Rajya Sabha polls in Himachal Pradesh, on Wednesday left Haryana for an undisclosed location in a chopper.

The legislators, including Rajinder Rana and Ravi Thakur, spent last night in a hotel here and left for Tau Devi Lal Stadium in BJP-ruled Haryana’s Panchkula in the morning, said sources.

The MLAs had reached Haryana from Shimla on Tuesday after casting their votes in the Rajya Sabha polls. They are learnt to be in touch with the BJP, amid signs of a crisis engulfing the Congress government in Himachal Pradesh.

According to reports, the MLAs are ”disappointed” with the working style of Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu and are seeking his replacement.

Thakur had Tuesday dismissed Sukhu’s claims that some party legislators were ”kidnapped” and said he ”can go anywhere” while referring to his visit to Panchkula.

Sukhu in Shimla alleged that ”five to six” Congress MLAs were ”kidnapped” and whisked away by the CRPF and the Haryana Police.

Speaking to reporters outside the guest house in Panchkula on Tuesday evening, Thakur had said, ”Hum ghoomne aye hain…this is my private time, so I can go anywhere.” When asked about the HP CM’s claims that some MLAs were brought here after being ”kidnapped”, the Lahaul and Spiti MLA said, ”No”.

Replying to a question on a floor test in Himachal assembly, he said, ”In the interest of Himachal Pradesh and Lahaul and Spiti, we supported Harsh Mahajan ji (BJP candidate) so that we can get more budget (from the Centre).” Thakur, Rana and four other Congress legislators were learnt to have reached the PWD Guest House in Panchkula. Later, they were reportedly taken to a hotel.

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.

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. The result was then declared based on a draw of lots, officials said.

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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