Crisis in Hills: 6 Congress MLAs, 5 others reach Uttarakhand

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Tension is brewing in the hill state of Himachal Pradesh. Eleven MLAs, including six Himachal Pradesh Congress rebels, have gone to BJP-ruled Uttarakhand on Saturday. News agency ANI reported that a bus with Haryana’s number plate carried the MLAs to Rishikesh’s Taj Hotel on Saturday morning. 

Earlier this week, CM Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu visited Delhi after being summoned by the Congress top brass over the growing tensions within the ruling party.

It was reported Sukhu went to Delhi and presented a report on the political situation in the state. He also held discussions on the Lok Sabha elections with the top brass.

The problem started last month when six Congress MLAs and three independents cross-voted for the BJP candidate Harsh Mahajan for the lone seat in the Rajya Sabha, which led to the defeat of party’s official nominee Abhishek Manu Singhvi. The six MLAs – Sudhir Sharma, Ravi Thakur, Rajinder Rana, Inder Dutt Lakhanpal, Chetanya Sharma and Devinder Kumar Bhutto – were later disqualified.

Later, acting on a complaint by the Congress, Speaker Kuldeep Singh Pathania disqualified the six MLAs from the House for defying a party whip to vote on the state Budget.

Himachal minister Vikramaditya Singh tried to resolve the situation by becoming a mediator between the Congress high command and the rebels.

Later, CM Sukhu on Thursday said that he can have a dialogue with the six party rebels after he softened his stand towards them. In return, Sukhu blamed the BJP-led Union government for using official machinery to destabilise his government in the state.

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