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Himachal BJP leaders to meet Governor, demand floor test on Wednesday

IANS | February 28, 2024 10:02 AM

SHIMLA: After the ruling Congress in Himachal Pradesh faced a humiliating defeat owing to cross-voting by six of its legislators for the lone Rajya Sabha seat, BJP leader and Leader of Opposition Jai Ram Thakur will meet Governor Shiv Pratap Shukla on Wednesday morning to demand floor test in the ongoing Budget session against the government.

As per the schedule of the Legislative Assembly, the Budget for 2024-25 is slated to be passed on Wednesday and during the session the BJP will demand voting, rather than voice vote on the floor of the House, as the Congress government is in "minority".

After nine legislators, comprising six Congress and three Independents, the BJP strength in the House rose to 34, from 25.

The ruling strength of legislators has reduced from 40 to 34, the half-way mark in the 68-member House.

In the voting for the Rajya Sabha seat, both the Congress candidate Abhishek Manu Singhvi and BJP's Harsh Mahajan had both received 34 votes each, however Mahajan won by draw of lots.

In a stunning upset, the six Congress MLAs who cross-voted 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.

The Congress on 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 as they are miffed over his confrontationist style and inability to take the legislators along with him.

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