Cross-Voting Allegations Cast Shadow on Himachal Pradesh’s Rajya Sabha Elections, My 6-7 MLAs have been kidnapped: CM Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu

Cross-Voting Allegations Cast Shadow on Himachal Pradesh’s Rajya Sabha Elections, My 6-7 MLAs have been kidnapped: CM Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu

Political Turmoil in Himachal Pradesh: Cross-Voting Allegations Cast Shadow on Rajya Sabha Elections

My 6-7 MLAs have been kidnapped: CM Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu

Shimla/Dharamsala (Arvind Sharma)27/2/24

In a recent development that has stirred the political climate in Himachal Pradesh, speculations of cross-voting by several Congress MLAs in the Rajya Sabha elections have surfaced, putting the stability of CM Sukhwinder Singh Sukhu’s government in jeopardy. Despite the absence of official results from Tuesday’s voting for a Rajya Sabha seat, sources claim that six Congress MLAs and three independents have favored the BJP, raising concerns of political defection and unexpected alliances.Counting of votes has been stopped at the moment.

Unconfirmed reports suggest efforts by BJP members to invalidate the vote of an ailing MLA, adding to the controversy. In response to the unfolding situation, Chief Minister Sukhwinder Singh Sukhu alleged that six to seven of his party MLAs were forcibly taken away to Panchkula  in Haryana Police vehicles, indicating a high-stakes political maneuver.

The Congress MLAs identified as part of the alleged cross-voting include Rajendra Rana of Sujanpur, Sudhir Sharma of Dharamshala, Devendra Bhutto of Kutlahar, ID Lakhanpal of Badsar, Ravi Thakur of Lahaul-Spiti, and Chaitanya Sharma of Gagret. Reports indicate they arrived at the assembly in a single vehicle on the morning of the vote, where they were greeted by BJP MLAs.  Three independent MLAs—Ashish Sharma of Hamirpur, Hoshiar Singh of Dehra, and KL Thakur of Nalagarh—are rumored to have supported BJP candidate Harsh Mahajan.

Following the vote, the involved MLAs reportedly left Shimla and has since been unreachable, leading to increased tension within the Congress government. It is also reported that these nine MLAs are now under CRPF protection, with three CRPF buses spotted arriving in Shimla, and the MLAs themselves relocating to Panchkula.

 The Rajya Sabha election saw all 68 MLAs cast their votes, but the counting process was halted amid protests from the BJP, leaving the outcome uncertain. The current party distribution in the Himachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly shows Congress holding 40 seats and BJP 25, with a total of 35 votes required to secure a win in the Rajya Sabha election, making the allegations of cross-voting critical to the political

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