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Himachal Pradesh political crisis | Six Congress MLAs, who cross-voted in BJP’s favour, disqualified

The Speaker said the six rebel Congress MLAs had defied party whip issued during Budget session. Amid the ongoing political turmoil in Himachal Pradesh, six Congress MLAs were disqualified on February 29 and they cease to be members of the Himachal Pradesh Assembly with immediate effect. In Shimla, Assembly Speaker Kuldeep Pathania said the six Congress MLAs, including Rajinder Rana, Sudhir Sharma, Inder Dutt Lakhanpal, Ravi Thakur, Chaitanya Sharma and Kutlehar MLA Davinder Bhutto, have defied the party whip issued during the Budget session, and hence attracted the provision under the anti-defection law. “It is a matter of record that the six members, when the party had issued a whip, they defied the whip. Whether it attracted the provision of the anti-defection law or not, this point was before me to decide. The members were present in the Assembly, but when the cut motions and demands were put to vote [during the Budget session], they were not inside the House. Also, yesterday (February 28), when the Finance Bill was presented in the House, they were not there. This clearly shows they have defied the whip and invited the provision of the anti-defection law,” he said. Pointing out that the six Congress MLAs had been disqualified, Mr. Pathania said, “I hold and declare the respondents [six Congress MLAs] cease to be members of the Himachal Pradesh State Legislative Assembly with immediate effect.” Notably, these six Congress MLAs had also voted in favour of the BJP candidate in the recently held Rajya Sabha election. The political turmoil in Himachal Pradesh started on February 27, after the ruling Congress party’s candidate Abhishek Singhvi lost the election for the lone Rajya Sabha seat to the BJP’s Harsh Mahajan, following the cross-voting by these six Congress MLAs.


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