Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Himachal Pradesh Assembly Budget Session Ends Abruptly Amid Political Turmoil

In an afternoon session marked by high tension, the Finance Bill was passed via voice vote in the absence of any BJP members. This move temporarily diffused the crisis, leading Speaker Kuldeep Singh Pathania to adjourn the House sine die.

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February 29, 2024 : The recent Rajya Sabha election in Himachal Pradesh has thrown the state into a political crisis, with significant developments unfolding rapidly. Amid allegations of cross-voting and the subsequent victory of a BJP candidate in the Congress-ruled state, tensions have escalated, prompting urgent action from both major parties.

Congress Scrambles to Maintain Power

In a bid to salvage its government in Himachal Pradesh, the Congress party has been working tirelessly following a series of dramatic events. These included the resignation of Vikramaditya Singh, a prominent minister, and the suspension of 15 BJP MLAs by the Speaker of the Assembly. The crisis was ignited by allegations of cross-voting during the recent Rajya Sabha election, further exacerbating the political turmoil in the state.

Assembly Session Adjourned Sine Die

In an afternoon session marked by high tension, the Finance Bill was passed via voice vote in the absence of any BJP members. This move temporarily diffused the crisis, leading Speaker Kuldeep Singh Pathania to adjourn the House sine die. Earlier in the day, Jairam Thakur, the Leader of the Opposition in the State Assembly, met with the Governor to discuss the BJP’s stance on the ongoing Budget Session, amidst speculation about a potential motion of no-confidence against the Congress government.

Rebel Congress MLAs Challenge Show-Cause Notice

Meanwhile, the six Congress MLAs who were issued a show-cause notice for defying party directives during the Rajya Sabha polls appeared before the Speaker, accompanied by their legal counsel. They argued that they had not been provided with all the relevant documents necessary for a fair hearing. Senior advocate Satya Pal Jain, representing the MLAs, emphasized that certain procedural requirements under the anti-defection law had not been met, including the provision of sufficient time to respond to the allegations.

The lawyer further contended that the anti-defection law does not apply to voting in Rajya Sabha polls, citing previous rulings by the Supreme Court. He urged the Speaker to adhere to the principles of natural justice and grant the MLAs adequate time to formulate their response.

As Himachal Pradesh grapples with its ongoing political crisis, tensions remain high, with both the Congress and BJP maneuvering to assert their positions. The abrupt adjournment of the Assembly session reflects the uncertainty surrounding the state’s political landscape, while the legal wrangling over the alleged cross-voting adds another layer of complexity to the situation. As developments continue to unfold, all eyes are on Shimla, where the fate of the government hangs in the balance.

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