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Operation Lotus Fails In Himachal?

The speaker of Himachal Pradesh’s Assembly disqualified six Congress MLAs who cross-voted for BJP in the Rajya Sabha election that took place on Tuesday. This comes as the Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu-led government in the state continues to hang by a thread.

Just yesterday, the BJP applauded and welcomed the six MLAs for their bravery as they arrived at the assembly after spending the night in BJP-ruled Haryana. During yesterday’s session, Assembly Speaker Kuldeep Singh Pathania announced that the six MLAs have been disqualified for disregarding the party’s directive to support the government on the Finance Bill.

ALSO WATCH: Himachal Political Crisis: 6 Congress MLAs Disqualified, Sukhu Govt Safe For Now

Who are the Disqualified 6 MLAs?

1) Rajinder Rana, – Sujanpur MLA
2) Sudhir Sharma, – Dharamshala MLA
3) Indradutt Lakhanpal, – Barsar MLA
4) Ravi Thakur, – Lahaul and Spiti MLA
5) Chaitanya Sharma, – Gagret MLA
6) Davinder Bhutto, – Kutlehar MLA

On Tuesday, these six MLAs supported BJP candidate Harsh Mahajan in the Rajya Sabha elections. Later, they abstained from voting on the budget in the assembly.

Following the disqualification, the House passed the Finance Bill by voice vote.

Meanwhile, on Thursday morning, CM Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu called for a ‘breakfast meeting’ with all Congress MLAs in Shimla to keep its flock of MLAs in check.

With the disqualification, the ruling Congress in Himachal Pradesh is expected to breathe a sigh of relief as it quashes any immediate threat of the BJP returning to power through a no-trust vote, given the six MLAs’ stand disqualified. After the disqualification, the Congress now holds 34 MLAs in the 62-member House, sans the six disqualified members.

Interestingly, this also indicates that CM Sukhu will be heading a minority government for some time, given that his party doesn’t have the numbers now. But the faultlines in the Congress camp have become crystal clear now. CM Sukhu leads one camp, and some have clarified their dissent – including state Congress President Pratibha Singh and her son Vikramaditya Singh.

When asked about the disqualification of 6 Congress MLAs, Pratibha Singh slammed the Sukhu government. Meanwhile, her son Vikramaditya reportedly withdrew his resignation after being pacified by Congress observers. He said he wouldn’t like to press the issue more in the larger interest of the Congress party.

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