Active Stocks
Tue Apr 16 2024 15:59:30
  1. Tata Steel share price
  2. 160.05 -0.53%
  1. Infosys share price
  2. 1,414.75 -3.65%
  1. NTPC share price
  2. 359.40 -0.54%
  1. State Bank Of India share price
  2. 751.90 -0.65%
  1. HDFC Bank share price
  2. 1,509.40 0.97%
Business News/ Politics / News/  Congress loses Himachal Rajya Sabha seat to BJP: What went wrong, floor test next for Sukhvinder Sukhu's govt?
BackBack

Congress loses Himachal Rajya Sabha seat to BJP: What went wrong, floor test next for Sukhvinder Sukhu's govt?

Rajya Sabha Election Results Update: The Congress lost one Rajya Sabha seat in Himachal Pradesh to the BJP, despite having numbers to win the polls. What went wrong, and what's next for the Congress government in the state?

Rajya Sabha Election Results Update: Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu, along with Congress candidate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, addresses a press conference after the latter lost the election for the Rajya Sabha seat, in Shimla, on Tuesday, February 27. (PTI)Premium
Rajya Sabha Election Results Update: Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu, along with Congress candidate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, addresses a press conference after the latter lost the election for the Rajya Sabha seat, in Shimla, on Tuesday, February 27. (PTI)

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won the lone Himachal Pradesh seat in the Rajya Sabha elections on Tuesday, February 27. This was a major setback for the Congress party, which is currently ruling the state. The Congress has 40 MLAs in the Himachal Pradesh Assembly and the BJP has only 25. 

Despite not having the numbers, the BJP won the Shimla seat in the Rajya Sabha polls. The saffron party secured victory following cross-voting and a draw of lots after the contest was tied at 34-34 votes.

Follow Rajya Sabha Election Results 2024 LIVE Updates

What went wrong for Congress?

The BJP's victory in Himachal Pradesh made it apparent that there was cross-voting in the Rajya Sabha elections for the seat. The Congress candidate, Abhishek Manu Singhvi, secured only 34 votes even as the party had the support of 43 MLAs — 40 Congress and three Independent MLAs — in the 68-member state assembly. Had all the 43 MLAs voted in favour of the Congress, Singhvi would have won the polls. 

But the Congress was in for a surprise.

Despite having numbers to win the Rajya Sabha seat in the state, the Congress conceded defeat while alleging that nine MLAs — six from the Congress and three Independent MLAs — cross-voted in favour of the BJP. Now, if nine MLAs from the Congress' lot voted for the BJP candidate Harsh Mahajan, this makes 34 votes each for the two candidates, leading up to a tie.

Mahajan won in a unique exercise, a draw of lots, which is rarely required as a tie-breaker. Under the rules, a ‘parcha’ system of lots is used to break a tie. In a direct election, it would be a coin toss.

ALSO READ: Rajya Sabha Elections and 'cross-voting': What kept UP, Himachal and Karnataka on the edge?

Floor test next for Congress government?

It is being speculated that the BJP would move a no-confidence motion against the Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu-led Congress government in the state. Moreover, Sukhu alleged that “five to six" Congress and independent MLAs were “abducted" by the Central Reserve Police Force and the Haryana Police.

When asked if the Himachal Pradesh BJP will demand a floor test, Leader of the Opposition Jairam Thakur said, "Budget will be presented tomorrow. We will discuss the Budget tomorrow and then we will see the situation there. But I can see that the government has lost the majority."

ALSO READ: Rajya Sabha elections: RLD MLAs herald imminent alliance with BJP, Jayant Chaudhary directs all 9 votes to NDA

Thakur also demanded the Himachal CM's resignation over his "moral defeat".

Amid the buzz over floor test, Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu said he has no "line of action" right now. He accused the MLAs who had cross-voted of having "sold their honesty". 

Sukhu said, “...We will see when the Assembly session commences...Those who have gone (cross-voted) are being asked by their families why they did this. So, if the families are asking them, then maybe a few of them would think about 'ghar wapasi'." 

How numbers stack for Congress in Himachal Pradesh Assembly?

The Himachal Pradesh Assembly has 68 members. A political party needs the support of 35 MLAs to prove a majority in the assembly. For Sukhu's government to remain in power, his party needs the backing of 34 MLAs.

Now, after cross-voting by six MLAs, the Congress' number seems to have reduced from 40 to 34 MLAs — one short of the exact number needed to win the floor test or no-confidence motion.

Meanwhile, the BJP had 25 MLAs in the Himachal assembly. With the support of three Independent MLAs (who were earlier with the Congress) and six Congress MLAs, the party will together have 34 MLAs.

Here too, there would be a tie between the Congress and the BJP, with none having the majority.

Unlock a world of Benefits! From insightful newsletters to real-time stock tracking, breaking news and a personalized newsfeed – it's all here, just a click away! Login Now!

Catch all the Politics News and Updates on Live Mint. Download The Mint News App to get Daily Market Updates & Live Business News.
More Less
Published: 27 Feb 2024, 10:21 PM IST
Next Story footLogo
Recommended For You
Switch to the Mint app for fast and personalized news - Get App