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Chaos in Himachal Pradesh Assembly; Speaker suspends 15 BJP MLAs

Shimla (Himachal Pradesh): As many as 15 Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLAs of Himachal Pradesh were suspended from the House by Assembly Speaker Kuldeep Singh Pathania on Wednesday allegedly for creating ruckus in his chamber.

The 15 BJP MLA's who were suspended from the House include Jai Ram Thakur, Vipin Parmar, Randhir Sharma, Hans Raj, Vinod Kumar, Janak Raj, Balbir Verma, Lokinder Kumar, Trilok Jamwal, Surinder Shourie, Puran Chand, Dalip Thakur, Inder Singb Gandhi, Ranbir Nikka and Deep Raj.

The BJP legislators were suspended by the Speaker after the State Parliamentary party affairs minister Harshwardhan Chauhan moved a proposal recommending the expulsion of the MLAs from the house.

The Himachal Pradesh Assembly was adjourned till 12 pm amid disruptions, with opposition members staging protests in the well of the House.

The BJP however has dubbed this a move by the Congress to prevent its government from toppling ahead of the Budget session.

BJP's winning Rajya Sabha candidate Harsh Mahajan said, "Congress Government is toppling. So such attempts are being made - to suspend them. These are delay tactics and are followed in every Vidhan Sabha...Congress has dismantled from here. All the attempts they make now will fail. BJP will form the Government here...Nine MLAs (who cross-voted) are in my support..."

In fresh trouble for the Congress government in Himachal Pradesh, Vikramaditya Singh, a state minister and the son of the former Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh on Wednesday stepped down from his position.

"All I would like to say is that under the current circumstances, it is not correct for me to continue as a part of the government. So, I have decided that I am resigning from the Council of Ministers. I am resigning as a minister," Singh said.

The trouble for the government comes at a time when the Assembly's annual Budget session is going on and ahead of voting on the state Finance Bill in the Assembly.

Union Minister Anurag Thakur who is an MP from the state says the Congress government had not fulfilled any of its promises.

"Congress formed govt in Himachal Pradesh by giving big and fake promises. After the formation of the govt, none of those promises were fulfilled. People used to ask questions when Congress MLAs went to their constituencies...they had no answers to give...no work was done, Congress' own MLAs were facing a lot of difficulties ...why did Congress MLAs abandon their own party within 14 months, what was the compulsion? one of the reasons is that they gave ticket to a non-Himachali person" Anurag Thakur said.

The BJP is pressing for division voting on the passing of the Budget after it is introduced in the assembly. If Congress is unable to see the Budget 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. 

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