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Rajya Sabha Election

Cross-Voting Rocks RS Elections in Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka & UP

Cross-Voting in Himachal Pradesh; Sukhwinder Singh Sukhu Government Has Lost Majority, says Jairam Thakur.

Cross-Voting Rocks RS Elections in Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka & UP
Image Source: PTI

New Delhi: In a significant development, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has asserted that Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Sukhwinder Singh Sukhu is now in a minority position following reports of cross-voting by several Congress MLAs in the Rajya Sabha elections for the state's lone seat. According to television reports, nine Congress MLAs defied party lines and voted in favor of the BJP.

 

The Congress currently holds a comfortable majority of 40 seats in the 68-member House, while the BJP has a strength of 25. The party has nominated senior leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi to contest against BJP's Harsh Mahajan. Mahajan, a former Congress MLA and minister, joined the BJP in September 2022.

 

Jairam Thakur, the Leader of Opposition in the Himachal Assembly, has claimed that the Congress government has lost its majority. He stated, "The budget will be presented tomorrow. We will discuss the budget tomorrow and then assess the situation. But I can see that the government has lost majority."

 

Chief Minister Sukhu countered, alleging that the BJP attempted to intimidate Congress leaders. He said, "We issued a whip, they did not have a majority. Despite the whip, some MLAs did not vote. We will decide what to do with those MLAs. In a way, BJP has attempted to threaten our leaders, and Congress strongly condemns it."

 

In a setback for the BJP-JD(S) alliance, BJP MLA S T Somashekar voted for the Congress candidate during the Rajya Sabha elections in Karnataka. Somashekar, who has been critical of the BJP, sided with the Congress, prompting the BJP to explore legal options against him.

 

Leader of Opposition R Ashoka expressed his disappointment, stating, "We have received information that Somashekar has engaged in cross-voting. I believe that people do not like cheating every now and then." Ashoka consulted with advocate Vivek Reddy, the state legal cell president, and a high court lawyer, to explore legal actions against Somashekar.

 

The Rajya Sabha elections in Uttar Pradesh, triggered by the BJP fielding its eighth candidate, witnessed a setback for the Samajwadi Party (SP). Reports suggest that seven SP MLAs cross-voted in favor of the BJP, potentially altering the election dynamics.

 

SP chief Akhilesh Yadav, amid the chaos, labeled the contest for the third Rajya Sabha seat as a 'loyalty test.' He asserted, "Our third seat (bid) in the Rajya Sabha was actually a test to identify the true companions and to know who was with the PDA at heart and who was against the backward classes, Dalits, and minorities by conscience." Yadav warned of disciplinary action against MLAs found guilty of cross-voting.


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