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regular-article-logo Tuesday, 21 May 2024

Himachal: 3 Independent MLAs who voted for BJP in Rajya Sabha polls submit resignation

One of them told reporters that they would join the BJP and contest elections on its ticket

PTI Shimla Published 22.03.24, 07:26 PM
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Representational Image File photo

Three Independent MLAs in Hiamchal Pradesh, who had voted in favour of the BJP candidate in the recent Rajya Sabha elections, submitted their resignation to the Assembly secretary on Friday, and trained their guns on Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu.

One of them told reporters that they would join the BJP and contest elections on its ticket.

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The three MLAs -- Ashish Sharma (Hamirpur constituency), Hoshiyar Singh (Dehra) and K L Thakur (Nalagarh) -- reached Shimla Friday, and accompanied by leader of the opposition Jai Ram Thakur and other BJP MLAs, submitted their resignation to Assembly secretary Yash Paul Sharma.

"We have submitted our resignation. We will join the BJP and contest elections on its ticket," Hoshiyar Singh told reporters.

All the three Independents had sought BJP tickets during the 2022 Assembly polls but they were denied tickets and contested as Independents. However, later when the Congress formed the government with 40 legislators, the three Independents had supported the government.

The Independent MLAs said Chief Minister Sukhu has stooped to such a level that he is targeting them and their families and registering false cases against them.

The three Independent MLAs, along with six Congress rebels, voted in favour of the BJP candidate in the Rajya Sabha elections last month.

The rebel Congress MLAs were disqualified for defying a whip to be present in the House and vote in favour of the ruling Congress during cut motions and budget.

The Election Commission of India had announced by-elections in the six assembly seats falling vacant after the disqualification of Congress legislators along with four Lok Sabha seats in the last phase on June 1.

Talking to reporters, Hoshiyar Singh said they had gone to submit their resignation to the speaker but he was not available.

They then handed over their resignation letters to the Assembly secretary and later met Governor Shiv Pratap Shukla to apprise him of the development.

"Our conscience did not allow voting for an outsider --“ Congress candidate Abhishek Manu Singhvi -- in the Rajya Sabha election and it was our right to vote per our wish," Singh said, adding that "ever since the result of Rajya Sabha elections, the state government has started politics of vendetta." "Under these circumstances, we have decided to resign. We will join BJP and contest elections on BJP ticket under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah and BJP national president J P Nadda and strengthen the nation as well as the state," he added.

K L Thakur claimed that development had come to a standstill in the past 14 months under the Congress rule and "we were unable to work for the people and there was no point in remaining an MLA." Meanwhile, Chief Minister Sukhu said the Independent MLAs should not have resigned and should have respected the people's mandate.

It is a matter of probe whether money was involved in the whole episode or the MLAs were pressured, he said.

"Kuch galat kiya hoga, tabhi istifa diya hai (they must have done something wrong that is why they have resigned)," he added.

With the disqualification of six Congress MLAs, the strength of the ruling Congress came down from 40 to 34, including the speaker, in the 68-member Assembly. The BJP has 25 members.

Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Telegraph Online staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.

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