6 Congress MLAs ousted in Himachal Pradesh for RS cross-voting

The disqualified members include Sudhir Sharma from Dharamshala, Rajinder Rana from Sujanpur, Inder Dutt Lakhanpal from Barsar, Ravi Thakur from Lahaul-Spiti, Chaitanya Sharma from Gagret, and Davinder Bhutto from Kutlehar.

| Updated: 29 February, 2024 12:55 pm IST
Himachal pradesh speaker disqualifies 6 Congress MLAs

NEW DELHI: Following the upheaval, Himachal Pradesh Assembly Speaker Kuldeep Singh Pathania announced the immediate disqualification of six Congress MLAs who had cross-voted in favour of the BJP during the recent Rajya Sabha elections.

The Speaker declared their cessation from the Himachal Pradesh Assembly, citing a blatant violation of the anti-defection law. The disqualified members include Sudhir Sharma from Dharamshala, Rajinder Rana from Sujanpur, Inder Dutt Lakhanpal from Barsar, Ravi Thakur from Lahaul-Spiti, Chaitanya Sharma from Gagret, and Davinder Bhutto from Kutlehar.

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Pathania, while addressing the press, revealed that the decision was based on a petition filed by Parliamentary Affairs Minister Harshvardhan Chauhan, which demonstrated that the six MLAs had defied the party whip issued by the Congress. “I declare that the six people cease to be members of the Himachal Pradesh Assembly with immediate effect,” stated Speaker Pathania.

The disqualification takes effect immediately, as the Speaker emphasised that the disqualified MLAs had run afoul of the anti-defection law by not adhering to the party’s directives. The actions of the six Congress MLAs were deemed a matter of record, and their failure to comply with the party’s whip led to their expulsion from the legislative assembly.

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Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Sukhvinder Sukhu convened a ‘breakfast meeting’ earlier in the day, indicating efforts within the Congress to address the situation arising from the cross-voting.

The move to disqualify the six MLAs underscores the strict implementation of anti-defection laws, which aim to preserve party discipline and prevent legislators from switching allegiance. This development comes on the heels of the Rajya Sabha polls held on February 27, where the six Congress MLAs reportedly voted against the party line.

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