Himachal: Vikramaditya keeps Congress guessing, Pratibha awaits high command decision - Hindustan Times
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Himachal: Vikramaditya keeps Congress guessing, Pratibha awaits high command decision

ByAsian News International
Feb 29, 2024 03:07 PM IST

Congress MLA stays away from chief minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu’s breakfast meet, while state unit chief says natural for MLAs to feel upset

Congress MLA Vikramaditya Singh, who on Wednesday took back his resignation as a minister in the Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu government, continues to keep the party’s top brass guessing.

Himachal Pradesh Congress MLA Vikramaditya Singh (left) along with party leader Rajeev Shukla addressing the media in Shimla on Wednesday. (PTI Photo)
Himachal Pradesh Congress MLA Vikramaditya Singh (left) along with party leader Rajeev Shukla addressing the media in Shimla on Wednesday. (PTI Photo)

While he has maintained that he would not press the issue of his resignation, the son of six-time Himachal Pradesh chief minister Virbhadra Singh stayed away from a breakfast meeting called by Sukhu. Thirty-two MLAs were present at the CM’s breakfast meeting, while Speaker Kuldeep Singh Pathania was addressing the press on his decision to disqualify six MLAs.

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Also read: Himachal Speaker disqualifies six rebel Congress MLAs

“I had said that I won’t press it. Dialogues are underway. Observers are here and they trying to set everything right. We will speak with them again...Himachal is ‘devabhoomi’, it has blessings of the deities and I had also gone to Ayodhya and took blessings of Lord Ram. So, we have everyone’s blessings. There is no problem,” Vikramaditya Singh said.

The Congress MLA is keeping his cards close to his chest, choosing his words carefully when questioned about the decision of the Speaker to disqualify the six rebel MLAs.

“It is not right for me to say anything on this as of now. Our observers have come here and they have witnessed and understood the situation. The Speaker has taken this decision. So, I don’t think it is correct for me to make a comment on the same. As I said, we will speak with the observers and we will see what the future course of action will be,” Vikramaditya Singh said on Thursday.

His mother and state Congress president Pratibha Singh was more direct saying it was natural for MLAs to be upset with the state leadership.

“Definitely, why not? When it has been more than a year and you take no cognisance or listen to them, it is natural for them to be upset. Had you sat them down, talked to them and found out a solution, this situation would not have occurred,” Pratibha Singh said.

“Whatever step we took, keeping in mind the sentiments of the people of Himachal Pradesh - the people are connected to us. The legacy of Virbhadra Singh is with us. We are going ahead by following in his sentiments of what he wanted for the state. We brought to their (party high command) knowledge again and again about whatever we thought was not correct. We said these things before them in Wednesday’s meeting as well. We are waiting to see what decisions they take,” she added.

Earlier today, Himachal Pradesh assembly Speaker Kuldeep Singh Pathania disqualified the six Congress MLAs who cross-voted in the Rajya Sabha elections. “Six MLAs, who contested on the Congress symbol, attracted provisions of anti-defection law against themselves. I declare that the six people cease to be members of the Himachal Pradesh assembly with immediate effect,” he said.

The six MLAs who have been disqualified are Sudhir Sharma, Rajinder Rana, Davinder K Bhutto, Ravi Thakur, Chaitanya Sharma and Inder Dutt Lakhanpal.

After the 2022 assembly elections, the Congress had 40 MLAs, while the BJP had 25 in the 68-member state assembly. The remaining three seats are held by independents. With the six rebel MLAs disqualified the strength of the House comes down from 68 to 62 and the halfway mark is 32. With the loss of six MLAs the Congress now has 34 MLAs and the BJP with independents has 28. The fortunes of the Congress will now rest on its ability to keep the rest of its flock together.

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