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Sukhu Government Breathes Easier with Budget Approval, But For How Long?

The Himachal Pradesh government breathes a sigh of relief as it survives the latest political test with the passage of the budget.

Sukhu Government Breathes Easier with Budget Approval, But For How Long?
Image Source: PTI

Dharmshala: A political storm is brewing in Himachal Pradesh as the Congress government faces a serious challenge to its stability. The upheaval began with the unexpected resignation of Vikramaditya Singh, the state's Public Works Department Minister and son of former Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh.

 

The discontent within the Congress party became glaring after the defeat in Tuesday's Rajya Sabha election to BJP's Harsh Mahajan. Reports emerged that six Congress MLAs cross-voted in favor of the BJP, triggering speculation about a potential no-confidence motion against the Sukhwinder Singh Sukhu-led government.

 

The crisis deepened with Vikramaditya Singh stepping down, adding to the internal turmoil within the Congress. The BJP seized the opportunity, intensifying efforts to bring a no-confidence motion against the 14-month-old Congress government.

 

As the situation escalated, a floor test was demanded by the opposition, alleging that the Congress lacked the majority to pass the budget. The Governor, Shiv Pratap Shukla, was approached for a floor test to assess the government's stability. The Rajya Sabha election results, initially tied at 34-34 votes, tilted in favor of the BJP after a 'draw,' with Harsh Mahajan declared the winner.

 

In a surprising move, the Leader of Opposition, Jairam Thakur, accused the Congress of lacking a majority and called for the suspension of 15 BJP MLAs. Thakur condemned the suspension, calling it "highly condemnable."

 

Top Congress leaders, including former Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda and Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar, were dispatched to Shimla to engage with party MLAs and find a resolution. Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge reportedly consulted with former party president Rahul Gandhi and General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on the evolving situation.

 

The assembly witnessed a heated debate as lawyers from both sides argued over the disqualification of the six rebel Congress MLAs under the Anti-Defection Law. The Assembly Speaker announced that the case hearing would take place at 4 o'clock.

 

Amidst the chaos, Chief Minister Sukhwinder Singh Sukhu denied offering his resignation, asserting that his government would complete its full five-year term. He hinted at having the support of some BJP MLAs.

 

The political crisis reached its peak as the Congress leadership conveyed a message to Shimla, emphasizing the importance of keeping the Himachal Pradesh government in power. The passing of the budget in the Assembly provided temporary relief for the Sukhu-led government as the House adjourned indefinitely, leaving the state in suspense over its political future.


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