Himachal Govt In Trouble? CM Alleges ‘Haryana Police Took Away 5-6 MLAs’, BJP Claims Cong Govt ‘Lost Majority’

New Delhi: Himachal Pradesh’s Leader of Opposition and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Jairam Thakur said on Tuesday that the Congress government led by Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu has lost its majority in the state. When questioned about if the state BJP would demand a floor test, Thakur responded, “The budget will be presented tomorrow. We will discuss the budget tomorrow and then we will see the situation there. But I can see that the government has lost the majority.” 

Speaking to the media, Himachal Pradesh CM Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu claimed that a CRPF and Haryana Police convoy “has taken away 5-6 MLAs”.

“The manner in which the counting has begun and Opposition leaders are threatening the polling officers again and again is not right for democracy…They had halted the counting for long. I urge the Himachal BJP unit’s leaders – have patience, don’t put pressure on people…CRPF and Haryana Police convoy have taken away 5-6 MLAs. I can say that the people who have gone away are being contacted by their families, I urge them to contact their families…There is no need to worry,” he remarked, as per ANI.

Voting took place for a highly anticipated Rajya Sabha election battle in Himachal Pradesh, with the BJP expressing optimism about its candidate’s chances of victory.

Congress Abhishek Manu Singhvi Vs BJP’s Harsh Mahajan For Sole Rajya Sabha Seat In Himachal

The competition for the sole Rajya Sabha seat in Himachal Pradesh is intense, with Congress candidate Abhishek Manu Singhvi facing off against the BJP’s Harsh Mahajan. Mahajan, a former three-time Congress MLA and minister who resigned from the party in September 2022 ahead of the Assembly polls to join the BJP, reported news agency ANI.

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Despite the Congress holding a significant majority with 40 out of 68 MLAs, along with the backing of three independent MLAs, the BJP, with only 25 MLAs, is far behind in the number game, it has forced a contest by fielding Mahajan against Singhvi. Notably, on Sunday, the Congress issued a whip to its MLAs, directing them to vote for the party’s candidate, Abhishek Manu Singhvi. As per the whip, all MLAs are required to display their ballots to the authorized agent, who has the authority to invalidate a vote if any MLA refuses to comply with this procedure, reported ANI.

On Monday, the BJP nominee lodged a complaint with the Chief Election Commissioner, alleging that the Congress had issued a three-line whip to its MLAs for the Rajya Sabha polls, which he deemed unethical. “Such a whip is not only unethical but also against the conducting of elections to the Rajya Sabha as it will affect the decision-making ability of the MLAs,” Harsh Mahajan said in his complaint, as per ANI.

After the complaint was filed, the Congress criticised BJP State Minister Harsh Wardhan Chauhan’s remarks, alleging that the accusations directed at the poll body were a manifestation of frustration within the BJP. Chauhan,  claimed that the BJP was contemplating “horse trading.” “This is the BJP’s frustration because the number of MLAs is not in favour of the BJP. 40 MLAs are with Congress, and 3 are independent. The BJP only has 25 MLAs. …even without numbers, BJP is fielding their candidate, which means they’re planning horse trading…” Chauhan said.

Voting for the 56 Rajya Sabha seats from 15 states, which are set to fall vacant in April is being held today. Rajya Sabha MPs serve a six-year term, with elections held every two years for 33 percent of the seats. Presently, the Rajya Sabha comprises 245 members. MPs for the Rajya Sabha are elected indirectly by MLAs through the system of proportional representation. These elections are typically straightforward, with candidates from all parties often winning unopposed, resulting in smooth sailing for all party candidates, as per ANI.