Stage set for 3 more bypoll, BJP wary of rebel threat if it fields former Ind MLAs : The Tribune India

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Stage set for 3 more bypoll, BJP wary of rebel threat if it fields former Ind MLAs

Stage set for 3 more bypoll, BJP wary of rebel threat if it fields former Ind MLAs


Tribune News Service

Pratibha Chauhan

Shimla, June 10

The Nalagarh, Dehra and Hamirpur Assembly constituencies will witness byelections on July 10, according to the Election Commission of India (ECI).

The byelections to the three Assembly segments were announced today while Vidhan Sabha Speaker Kuldeep Pathania had accepted the resignations of three Independent MLAs Hoshiyar Singh (Dehra in Kangra), KL Thakur (Nalagarh in Solan) and Ashish Sharma (Hamirpur) on June 3.

The two main parties are yet to decide candidates for the three byelections but all eyes are on the BJP to see whether it will field the three former Independent MLAs, who had joined the party. The BJP is wary of the rebel threat if decides to field the three former Independent MLAs from Dehra, Nalagarh and Hamirpur by ignoring party leaders and workers.

On the other hand, the Congress leaders, who had contested the 2022 Assembly elections, have already started campaigning though the party is yet to finalise their candidatures.

In a surprise move, the three MLAs had tendered their resignations to the Speaker on March 22 and joined the BJP the next day. However, the Speaker accepted their resignations on June 3, almost after two and a half months and notified the three seats falling vacant to the ECI.

The three Independent MLAs had been pressing for the early acceptance of their resignations so that the byelections in their segments could be held with the Lok Sabha elections and six Assembly byelections on June 1.

“It is for the people of these three segments to decide whether to trust these three former Independent MLAs again as they defied the public mandate for their personal interests and resigned from the Assembly within 15 months of being elected. People, who are guided by personal motives, should not be elected,” said Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu after the ECI notified the byelections.

Sukhu said that it was for the first time that the Independent MLAs had sat on a dharna outside the Vidhan Sabha to demand the acceptance of their resignations. “They had never sat on a dharna for a public cause but for the acceptance of their resignations so that they could join the BJP and contest on the party ticket,” he added.

Sukhu said, “I am confident that the electorate of these three segments will vote wisely in the forthcoming byelections.”

In fact, Sukhu had built an election narrative, especially for the byelections in the Assembly segments of Gagret, Kutlehar, Sujanpur, Barsar, Dharamsala and Lahaul and Spiti, that the BJP had allured Congress MLAs. He had accused the BJP of trying to destabilise the democratically-elected Congress government.

The Congress now has 38 MLAs after it won four of the six Assembly seats in the recent byelections. The BJP’s strength rose from 25 to 27 after it won the Dharamsala and Barsar bypoll.

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