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Business News/ Politics / Himachal Pradesh: Rebel Congress MLA Rajinder Rana claims to be in touch with ‘9 more who are feeling suffocated’

Himachal Pradesh: Rebel Congress MLA Rajinder Rana claims to be in touch with ‘9 more who are feeling suffocated’

Rebel Himachal Pradesh Congress MLA Rajinder Rana claims nine more party legislators feel suffocated under Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu's leadership. Disqualified MLAs challenge their disqualification in High Court. Drama unfolds in Cabinet meeting as ministers leave midway over policy decisions.

Expelled Congress MLA Rajinder RanaPremium
Expelled Congress MLA Rajinder Rana

Himachal Political Crisis: Just when all seemed well in the hill state of Himachal Pradesh, when it felt Congress had averted a crisis, rebel Himachal Pradesh Congress MLA Rajinder Rana claimed that nine more party legislators "feeling suffocated" due to Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu's style of functioning. 

The rebel MLAs who were disqualified after they scripted the Congress' loss in the lone Rajya Sabha seat by cross voting, have moved the High Court challenging their disqualification. They were disqualified from the Himachal Pradesh Assembly for abstaining from voting on the cut motion and finance bill.

On Saturday expelled Congress MLA Rajinder Rana called himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu "liar number one".

Meanwhile, high drama was witnessed during the Himachal Pradesh Cabinet meeting on Saturday as ministers Jagat Negi and Rohit Thakur left midway following a "heated debate" over policy decisions, PTI reported.

In an interview with PTI, Rajinder Rana termed CM Sukhu "liar number one" and alleged that he was trying to twist the facts.

"Neither Public Works Department Minister Vikramaditya Singh had told the chief minister that he is meeting the Congress rebels at Panchkula nor the CM had sent him," Rana said.

"Vikramaditya Singh, who met us on his way to Delhi, did not ask us to patch up. He has his grievances against the government which failed to provide land for installing Virbhadra Singh's statue and interfered in his functioning," he added.

Sukhu on Friday said he gave the go-ahead to Vikramaditya Singh to meet the rebels who cross-voted in the Rajya Sabha polls, in what appeared to be a placatory gesture even as he called the same six MLAs “black serpents".

In a setback for the ruling Congress in Himachal Pradesh, the BJP on Tuesday won the state's lone Rajya Sabha seat despite being in the minority with just 25 MLAs against 40 of the Congress as nine MLAs, including six from the Congress and three independents, voted for BJP candidate Harsh Mahajan.

Himachal Pradesh Assembly Speaker Kuldeep Singh Pathania had on Thursday disqualified six Congress MLAs namely Sudhir Sharma, Ravi Thakur, Rajinder Rana, Inder Dutt Lakhanpal, Chetanya Sharma and Devinder Kumar Bhutto for abstaining from voting on the Cut Motion and the Finance Bill.

Amid the Congress' woes, Revenue Minister Jagat Negi and Education Minister Rohit Thakur on Saturday walked out of the Cabinet meeting being chaired by Sukhu after a "heated debate" over policy decisions, sources said.

Thakur, however, returned after allegedly being pacified by Deputy Chief Minister Mukesh Agnihotri, they said.

Later, Negi said the meeting started at around 12.30 pm instead of the scheduled time of 11 am and clashed with another engagement that he had. Negi said he left as he was getting late.

Addressing media persons, Thakur said he left the meeting briefly to meet someone but later went back.

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Published: 02 Mar 2024, 09:37 PM IST
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