In a dramatic turn of events in Himachal Pradesh, Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu skillfully navigated a political crisis, securing a temporary victory for his government. The disqualification of 15 BJP legislators, accused of misbehaving with the speaker, allowed the Congress-led government to pass the state budget by a voice vote. This move provided a breather for Sukhu as he grapples with the aftermath of cross-voting during the Rajya Sabha election.

The Battle Unfolds

The political saga unfolded as six Congress MLAs defied the party whip in the Rajya Sabha poll, prompting the state government to file a petition under the anti-defection law. Speaker Kuldeep Singh Pathania reserved his decision on the matter, expressing concern over the absentees during the consideration and passing of the finance bill. The house was eventually adjourned sine die, setting the stage for intense political maneuvering.

Congress Response and Observer Delegation

Deputy CM D K Shivakumar and former Haryana CM Bhupinder Singh Hooda, appointed as observers by the All India Congress Committee (AICC), arrived in Shimla to assess the situation. The observers interacted with MLAs, including the dissidents, and were set to submit a detailed report to AICC president Mallikarjun Kharge by midnight. Sukhu, adopting a conciliatory tone, referred to the dissenting MLAs as “younger brothers” and hinted at forgiveness, highlighting that one of them had apologized for betraying the party whip.

BJP’s Disqualified MLAs and Chaos

A group of six Congress MLAs, along with three Independents supporting the BJP, faced disqualification on charges of breaching the anti-defection law. Chaos ensued as they arrived from Haryana’s Panchkula by helicopter, with Congress and BJP supporters clashing amid a heavy police presence. The dissidents, claiming support from 20 others, abstained from the proceedings, emphasizing their demand for Sukhu’s removal.

BJP’s Countermove

Former CM and opposition leader Jai Ram Thakur led a BJP delegation to the governor, advocating for a division vote on budget estimates. Amidst pandemonium in the assembly, a motion to suspend 15 BJP MLAs for alleged disrespect towards the speaker was adopted by a voice vote. The speaker adjourned the house, leading to a subsequent walkout by the opposition. The finance bill was eventually passed by a voice vote after the last 10 opposition MLAs exited the assembly.

Congress Denies Cross-Voting Speculations

Amidst the turmoil, Congress dismissed speculations about cross-voting in Himachal Pradesh, labeling them as “motivated.” Congress spokesperson Jairam Ramesh refuted claims of Sonia Gandhi’s decision to opt for the Rajya Sabha from Rajasthan being linked to concerns about cross-voting in Himachal Pradesh. He emphasized that similar proposals were received from other states, and the high command made a decision based on merit.


As the political landscape in Himachal Pradesh remains fluid, CM Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu’s adept handling of the crisis has temporarily stabilized his government. The disqualification of BJP MLAs and the successful passage of the state budget provide a momentary respite, but the underlying tensions and power struggles are likely to shape the state’s political narrative in the days to come.

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Aanya Kapoor, a seasoned editor at Atom News, brings a wealth of experience in journalism and a keen eye for compelling stories. With a background in investigative reporting, Aanya Kapoor is dedicated to delivering news that resonates with our diverse readership.