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Himachal Pradesh: Congress rebel MLAs head to Shimla from Haryana

Shimla (Himachal Pradesh): Six Congress Himachal Pradesh's legislators who cross voted in Rajya Sabha elections on Tuesday and were staying at a hotel in Haryana left for Shimla for the Budget Session of the state assembly on Wednesday.

Earlier on Tuesday, CM Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu had claimed that opposition leaders were obstructing the work of counting officials, and that "5-6 Congress MLAs were taken away in a convoy of the CRPF and Haryana Police."

Meanwhile, members of the BJP Legislative Party led by Jai Ram Thakur on Wednesday met Himachal Pradesh Governor Shiv Pratap Shukla.

The meeting comes a day after the ruling Congress's Abhishek Manu Singhvi lost the Rajya Sabha election to the BJP's Harsh Mahajan despite the Congress enjoying a comfortable majority in the state assembly.

After meeting Governor Shiv Pratap Shukla, Himachal Pradesh LoP Jairam Thakur said, "We have informed the Governor about what happened in the Assembly...In the Assembly, when we demanded division of vote during the financial bill, it was not allowed and the House was adjourned twice. The way Marshals behaved with our MLAs was not right. We have a doubt that the Vidhan Sabha Speaker can suspend BJP MLAs and some MLAs of Congress who voted for BJP in Rajya Sabha elections, can also be suspended. Currently, the Congress government has lost the right to stay in power..."

Jairam Thakur further said that the state government has lost the 'moral right to stay in power' after it lost the Rajya Sabha elections on Tuesday.

"From the recent political point of view of the developments that have taken place in Himachal Pradesh, it can be said that the state government has lost the moral right to stay in power..." the BJP leader said.

The Budget Session of the Himachal Pradesh Assembly has been convened for today. The BJP is pressing for division voting on the passing of the Budget after it is introduced in the assembly. If the Congress is unable to see the Bugdet through the government in the state will fall.

The Congress has 40 MLAs while the BJP has 25 in the 68-member state assembly. The remaining three seats are held by independents.

Meanwhile, winning BJP candidate Harsh Mahajan feels the BJP is in pole position to return to power in the state.

"BJP is going to form its government in the state. Some more MLAs of Congress are in touch with us. I got phone calls from some of their MLAs and ministers...The situation is going to change in the next few hours and you will see BJP will form its govt soon...For the next 10-20 years, Congress is not going to come to power here" BJP Rajya Sabha winning candidate Harsh Mahajan said.

In a shocking political development in Himachal Pradesh, the ruling Congress's Abhishek Manu Singhvi lost the Rajya Sabha election to the BJP's Harsh Mahajan despite the Congress enjoying a comfortable majority in the state assembly.

Both candidates secured 34 votes each in the 68-member state assembly. Victory tilted towards Mahajan after a draw of lots was held as a tie-breaker. 

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