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Himachal Congress crisis blows over for now, 6 rebel legislators disqualified

State unit vows to work unitedly for LS poll | Defiant MLAs to challenge decision in court

Himachal Congress crisis blows over for now, 6 rebel legislators disqualified

HP Congress chief Pratibha Singh, >> CM Sukhvinder Sukhu and Dy CM Mukesh Agnihotri on way to address the media in Shimla. LALIT KUMAR



Tribune News Service

Pratibha Chauhan

Shimla, February 29

The crisis in the Congress, triggered by the humiliating defeat in the Rajya Sabha election, seems to have blown off at least for the time being with the central party observers managing to bring the faction-ridden state unit together against the backdrop of disqualification of six rebel MLAs from the Assembly.

Speaker Kuldeep Pathania, after listening to the lawyers of the six defiant rebel MLAs, announced their unseating from the Assembly, the first ever in the history of Himachal. “The six MLAs have incurred disqualification under Para 2(1)(a) of the10th Schedule of the Anti-Defection law, so I declare that all six cease to be Member of Himachal Legislative Assembly with immediate effect,” he announced after pronouncing a 30-page order.

The six MLAs who have been the disqualified include Sudhir Sharma (Dharamsala), Rajinder Rana (Sujanpur), Inder Dutt Lakhanpal (Barsar), Ravi Thakur (Lahaul-Spiti), Chaitanya Sharma (Gagret) and Devender Bhutto (Kutlehar). Incidentally, four of them are from Chief Minister Sukhu’s home turf Hamirpur. Terming the disqualification illegal and taken in haste, the defiant MLAs said they would challenge the decision in court of law.

It was after two days of hectic parleys and series of meetings by the central observers — Karnataka Deputy CM DK Shivakumar, former Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel, former Haryana CM Bhupinder Singh Hooda – that Congress state president Pratibha Singh and her minister son Vikramaditya got mollified. Not willing to take back his resignation on mere assurances, Vikramaditya remained adamant till the announcement of a six-member committee for coordination between the government and the party organisation.

The supposed end to the political upheaval marked by dramatic events throughout the day was announced by Shivakumar at the CM’s residence in the presence of the CM, Pratibha, ministers and all MLAs. “The government will complete five years as all issues have been resolved. The CM has taken responsibility for the party’s defeat in the Rajya Sabha,” he announced. He, however, remained dismissive about queries on Sukhu continuing as CM by merely stating that everyone wanted the Congress government to complete its full term.

The six-member coordination committee, comprising the CM, state president, Deputy CM and three others to be appointed by the high command, will ensure smooth functioning, said Hooda.

Pratibha also said all issues had been resolved and the party would now work unitedly for ensuring victory in the Lok Sabha poll. Later, Vikramaditya attended the Cabinet meeting, putting an end to the resignation saga.

The disqualification of the six MLAs could deter more disgruntled ruling party MLAs from drifting towards the BJP amidst talk of “Operation Lotus” in the state. The BJP Legislature Party also met twice to discuss the future course of action on the disqualification of the six MLAs who facilitated BJP candidate Harsh Mahajan’s victory despite the party having just 25 MLAs in the 68-member House.

Vikramaditya withdraws resignation after parleys

Congress state chief Pratibha Singh and her minister son Vikramaditya were placated after two days of hectic meetings by central observers DK Shivakumar, Bhupesh Baghel, BS Hooda

Six-member coordination committee announced

Vikramaditya refused to take back his resignation till the announcement of a six-member committee for coordination between the government and the party organisation

4 disqualified from cm’s home turf Hamirpur

Disqualified MLAs: Sudhir Sharma (D’sala), Ravi Thakur (Lahaul-Spiti) & from Hamirpur LS segment — Rajinder Rana (Sujanpur), Chaitanya Sharma (Gagret), Devender Bhutto (Kutlehar) and ID Lakhanpal (Barsar)

Issues resolved, Cong govt to complete 5 yrs

The government will complete five years as all issues have been resolved. The CM has taken responsibility for the party’s defeat in the Rajya Sabha poll. — DK Shivakumar, Karnataka Deputy CM

About The Author

The Tribune News Service brings you the latest news, analysis and insights from the region, India and around the world. Follow the Tribune News Service for a wide-ranging coverage of events as they unfold, with perspective and clarity.

#Congress #Rajya Sabha #Shimla


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