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Political crisis: What's next for Himachal Pradesh?

By Mahima Katal      28 February, 2024 12:56 PM      0 Comments
Political crisis Whats next for Himachal Pradesh

Shimla (Himachal Pradesh): The fight for a Rajya Sabha seat has turned into a battle of survival for the Congress government in Himachal Pradesh.

The political crisis in Himachal Pradesh is deepening day by day after the BJP won the Shimla seat in the Rajya Sabha polls. Despite not having the numbers the saffron party secured victory following cross-voting and a draw of lots after the contest was tied at 34-34 votes.

Following this former chief minister Virbhadra Singh’s son and Himachal Pradesh PWD minister Vikramaditya Singh tendered his resignation from the state Cabinet amid deepening political crisis.

Notably, 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.

Meanwhile, Harsh Mahajan on Wednesday claimed that his party is going to form government in the state by ousting the ruling Congress on the ground of 'lacking majority' in the house.

Mahajan, while speaking to the media said that several Congress legislatures are in touch with the BJP and the state is going to witness a change in the government.

How Congress Lost Himachal Pradesh?

The 68-member House has 40 MLAs from Congress, 25 from BJP and three Independents. The Congress chose senior lawyer Abhishek Singhvi as its candidate. The BJP, despite being at a numerical disadvantage, forced a contest by fielding veteran politician Harsh Mahajan, earlier with the Congress.

The Congress candidate, Abhishek Manu Singhvi, secured only 34 votes even as the party had the support of 43 MLAs — 40 Congress and three Independent MLAs. Had all the 43 MLAs voted in favour of the Congress, Singhvi would have won the polls. Congress conceded defeat while alleging that nine MLAs — six from the Congress and three Independent MLAs — cross-voted in favour of the BJP.

Will BJP form government in Himachal Pradesh?

"From the recent political point of view of the developments that have taken place in Himachal Pradesh, it can be said that the state government has lost the moral right to stay in power," Leader of the Opposition Jai Ram Thakur has said. Thakur also demanded the Himachal CM's resignation over his "moral defeat".
It is being speculated that the BJP would move a no-confidence motion against the Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu-led Congress government in the state.

Congress leader and Chief Minister Sukhu alleged that “five to six" Congress and independent MLAs were “abducted" by the Central Reserve Police Force and the Haryana Police.

In Himachal Pradesh, a political party needs the support of 35 MLAs to prove a majority in the assembly. For Sukhu's government to remain in power, his party needs the backing of 34 MLAs. Now, after cross-voting by six MLAs, the Congress' number seems to have reduced from 40 to 34 MLAs — one short of the exact number needed to win the floor test or no-confidence motion.

Meanwhile, the BJP had 25 MLAs in the Himachal assembly. With the support of three Independent MLAs (who were earlier with the Congress) and six Congress MLAs, the party will together have 34 MLAs. Here too, there would be a tie between the Congress and the BJP, with none having the majority.

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