oppn parties Temporary Relief For The Congress In Himachal Pradesh

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Calcutta HC scraps 2016 teacher appointment process, 25757 teachers to lose their jobs, ordered to repay salaries withdrawn in 4 weeks
oppn parties
Temporary Relief For The Congress In Himachal Pradesh

By Sunil Garodia
First publised on 2024-02-29 07:28:33

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator.

The Congress has, for the time being, managed to avert the crisis in Himachal Pradesh. Rumours of Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu's resignation flew thick and fast on Wednesday before the chief minister scotched them by saying that he had not resigned and will fight 'like a warrior'. The Congress government will not fall immediately. Several steps were taken to this effect.

First, the assembly Speaker suspended 15 BJP MLAs on Wednesday for unruly behavior to ensure smooth passage of the state budget. Then, Vikramaditya Singh, son of former chief minister Virbhadra Singh, resigned as PWD minister but later kept his resignation on hold after the party brass talked with him. To complete the process, on Thursday the Speaker disqualified the 6 Congress MLAs who had voted in favour of the BJP candidate in the RS polls under the anti-defection law.

What this means is that out of the 68 members in the assembly, the Congress has 34, the BJP 25 and there are three Independents who had also voted for the BJP candidate, while 6 are disqualified and will not be allowed to vote. Hence, even if a trust vote is called for and if the BJP does not manage to break the Congress further, Sukhu will sail through based on current strength.

But the problem the Congress faced proves that not all is well in the state unit. There are reports that several other MLAs are nursing grievances against the chief minister and the party high command has not taken steps to give them a hearing. This can be exploited by the BJP in future. Hence, it cannot be said that the crisis in Himachal has blown over.

This has been a recurrent theme in Congress-ruled states. Even when Sukhu was 'elected' the chief minister by Congress legislators after the election win, the Pratibha Singh camp had resisted but finally backed off after Vikramaditya was made a minister. But that was not a permanent solution to the infighting in the state unit. The BJP knows this and is likely to use it to its advantage. Himachal politics is likely to see further ups and downs in the coming weeks.