Himachal Pradesh: BJP MLAs meet governor; Congress observers in Shimla today

Rumours are that BJP will move a no-confidence motion against the Sukhu government

PTI02_27_2024_000343B Leader of Opposition in Himachal Pradesh Assembly Jairam Thakur with BJP MLAs during a visit to Raj Bhavan to meet state Governor Shiv Pratap Shukla, in Shimla | PTI

The BJP legislative members of the Himachal Pradesh Assembly met Governor Shiv Pratap Shukla early Wednesday a day after BJP managed to win the sole Rajya Sabha seat in the state. This comes amid speculations that the party may move a motion of no-confidence in the assembly against the Congress government in the state. 

Himachal opposition leader Ram Thakur told ANI on Wednesday morning that he met Governor Shiv Pratap Shukla. "We have informed the Governor about what happened in the Assembly. When we demanded division of vote during the financial bill, it was not allowed and the House was adjourned twice. The way Marshals behaved with our MLAs was not right," Thakur said, adding that the Congress government lost the right to stay in power. 

He added that the BJP suspected that the Vidhan Sabha Speaker could  suspend BJP MLAs and some MLAs of Congress who voted for BJP in Rajya Sabha elections.

In a major upset for Congress, Congress nominee Abhishek Singhvi lost the lone Rajya Sabha seat in Himachal Pradesh, where his party is in power, to the BJP's Harsh Mahajan amid cross-voting in the election held in Shimla. Mahajan won the state's lone Rajya Sabha seat based on a draw of lots after he tied with Singhvi with 34 votes.

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. 

Meanwhile, the Congress, reeling from the shocking defeat of its Rajya Sabha candidate Abhishek Manu Singhvi to BJP's Harsh Mahajan in Himachal Pradesh, has appointed senior leaders Bhupinder Singh Hooda and D K Shivakumar to engage with the six MLAs, who are said to have cross-voted in the Tuesday's Rajya Sabha elections.

The MLAs have reportedly left for Haryana after voting for Mahajan and are said to be in talks with the BJP. This comes amid speculations that the Opposition BJP might bring a no-trust motion against the Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu government.

Appointed as observers by Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge, Hooda and Shivakumar will reach Shimla on Wednesday take assess the ground situation. The observers may also get in touch with the MLAs who are said to be "disappointed" with the working style of Sukhu and are seeking his replacement.

Kharge said on Tuesday that the Congress would challenge the election as both the candidates got 34 votes each and the decision was taken based on a lottery. "If the (Central) government breaks an elected government, what democracy is it? It has happened earlier in Karnataka, Manipur, and Goa. When they do not get elected, they take measures, intimidate them and break the government. Is this democracy?" Kharge said.

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