BJP seeks Himachal Governor’s intervention, apprehends expulsion from Assembly

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Shimla, Feb 28 (IANS) A day after six Congress MLAs cross-voted in the Rajya Sabha elections, Himachal Pradesh BJP leader and former Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur on Wednesday said he apprised Governor Shiv Pratap Shukla about the current political scenario and expressed apprehension the party legislators might face expulsion from the ongoing Budget Assembly Session that will culminate on Thursday.

He told the media after meeting the Governor that the Congress has lost the majority in the House of 68 and lost the moral right to be in power after six of its legislators cross-voted in the Rajya Sabha poll.

“We have apprehensions that the Speaker might expel all the BJP legislators, plus those who voted in favour of the BJP candidate (for the Rajya Sabha poll) from the Assembly. We sought his intervention as the Speaker will go for Budget passing with voice vote rather than opting for voting on it,” Thakur said.

He said they requested the Governor to ensure regulation of parliamentary procedures.

“The Congress is frustrated now…their government is in trouble not because of us but because of their own deeds,” Thakur added.

In a stunning upset a day earlier, six Congress MLAs cross-voted in the lone Rajya Sabha seat. Those who voted in favour of the BJP’s candidate were Sudhir Sharma (Dharamsala) and Rajinder Rana (Sujanpur), both ministerial aspirants; Inder Dutt Lakhanpal (Badsar); Ravi Thakur (Lahaul-Spiti); Chaitnaya Sharma (Gagret); and Devender Bhutto (Kutlehar). The three Independent MLAs too voted in favour of the BJP.

With this, the Congress has a strength of 34 MLAs, the same number as the BJP.

The Congress late Tuesday rushed its senior leaders Bhupinder Singh Hooda and D.K. Shivakumar to Shimla to resolve the crisis triggered by cross-voting.

It is likely that at least four to five more Congress legislators will vote against Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu during the voting of the Budget passing later Wednesday as they are miffed over his confrontationist style and inability to take the legislators along with him.



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