Himachal Pradesh crisis: Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu takes black snakes dig at 6 disqualified Congress MLAs

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Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu has slammed the six Congress MLAs who were disqualified for cross-voting in favour of the BJP in the Rajya Sabha election. Calling them “black snakes”, Sukhu said the rebel MLAs sold their honour and tried to destabilise the Congress government by abstaining from voting on a budget that consisted of welfare schemes for the poor.

“How can people who sell their honour for money serve the people of their constituency?” the Chief Minister asked, while addressing a public meting in Dharampur in the Kasauli Assembly constituency of Solan district.

Backing his remark, Sukhu said that in politics, people who backstab their own party which gave them a chance to contest polls, are called “black snakes”, news agency PTI reported.

The Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister further said that if a person realises their mistake, they can be forgiven, but the six rebel MLAs should first come out of the “jail” they have been for the past 72 hours.

Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu also seemed to pacify his disgruntled colleague Vikramaditya Singh, who stepped down as a Himachal Pradesh cabinet minister and threatened to resign, by saying that it was him who gave the latter a go-ahead to meet the six disqualified Congress MLAs on Friday.

Notably, Vikramaditya Singh on Friday met the six MLAs in Chandigarh, sources told India Today.

“I told Vikramaditya Singh to talk to these rebel MLAs and the Congress central leadership,” Sukhu said, adding that the former state minister will meet Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge as well.

“And we will see what development takes place… But there is no threat to the (state) government,” the Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister asserted.

Vikramaditya Singh is the son of former Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singha and Congress state chief Pratibha Singh. He had offered his resignation after stepping down as the PWD minister of Himachal Pradesh, but later made a U-turn, saying he won’t be pushing for his resignation until a dialogue within his party was completed.

In Shimla, Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu told reporters that Vikramaditya Singh informed him about some of the rebel Congress MLAs intending to return to the party’s fold.

The Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister also attacked the Leader of Opposition Jairam Thakur, saying the latter has been busy doing ‘Operation Lotus’ in the Himalayan hill state. Sukhu also reiterated that his government will indeed complete five years.

“Nobody should be as hungry for power as they are. People have elected our government and we will be in power for 5 years,” news agency ANI quoted Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu as saying.

Meanwhile, Vikramaditya Singh on Friday removed ‘Himachal Pradesh minister’ from his Facebook profile bio, and added ‘Himachal ka sevak (Worker of Himachal Pradesh)’ instead.

Furthermore, one of the disqualified MLAs Rajinder Rana took a swipe at Sukhu on Facebook, saying those who “raised the voice of Himachali youth” and “carried the torch of Himachali identity” have become traitors today.

“Wow system change! Those who carried the torch of Himachali identity became traitors. External candidates have become the ones who impose their influence on the state. Those who raised the voice of the youth became traitors and those who betrayed the youth became saints. Who is a saint and who is a traitor? Jan Darbar will decide,” Rajinder Rana’s post on Facebook, roughly translated from Hindi, read.

On Friday, Pratibha Singh too showed support for the six disqualified MLAs, saying their only mistake was that they wanted to be heard. She added that the decision to disqualify them was made in a haste.

“They didn’t rebel immediately; it had happened over time. If you try to appease someone at the last moment, that doesn’t solve the problem. Sukhu government should have listened to these rebel MLAs,” the Himachal Pradesh Congress chief said.

The six Congress MLAs who were disqualified include Inder Dutt Lakhanpal, Ravi Thakur, Chetanya Sharma, Devinder Kumar Bhutoo, Rajinder Rana, and Sudhir Sharma. They were disqualified by the Speaker under the anti-defection law.

The Himachal Pradesh crisis emerged after these rebel MLAs cross-voted in favour of BJP candidate Harsh Mahajan in the Rajya Sabha election, helping him defeat Congress’s Abhishek Manu Singhvi after both secured 34 votes each.

Published On:

Mar 2, 2024

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