Himachal Political Crisis: Sukhu Says Won't Resign, Vikramaditya Withdraws Resignation; BJP MLAs Expelled From Assembly

Himachal Pradesh political crisis: The CM Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu-led Congress government of Himachal Pradesh finds itself in trouble a day after the Rajya Sabha contest for the lone seat in the state tied at 34-34 votes due to cross-voting, after which BJP's Harsh Mahajan was declared the winner by draw of lots.

X/@VikramadityaINC | PTI
L: Himachal Congress leader Vikramaditya Singh who resigned from cabinet on Wednesday | R: Himachal Pradesh CM Sukhu with RS poll candidate Abhishek Manu Singhvi Photo: X/@VikramadityaINC | PTI

Facing a no-trust vote amid anticipated rebellion by its MLAs, the Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu-led Congress government of Himachal Pradesh finds itself in a political crisis after losing to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on the lone Rajya Sabha seat from the state in the elections on Tuesday due to cross-voting. BJP candidate Harsh Mahajan on Tuesday won the lone Rajya Sabha seat from Himachal Pradesh, defeating ruling Congress' Abhishek Manu Singhvi.

On Wednesday, a day after the Rajya Sabha contest tied at 34-34 votes, after which Mahajan was declared winner by draw of lots, the BJP sought a test of strength for the Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu-led Congress government of Himachal Pradesh.

The Rajya Sabha poll drubbing becomes a major jolt for the Congress which has 40 MLAs in the 68-member state assembly and claimed the support of the independents. The result made it clear that nine MLAs voted in favour of the BJP, a strong signal of a possible rebellion and trouble for the CM Sukhu-led Congress government in Himachal Pradesh.

At present, the BJP has 25 MLAs in the state assembly in which the majority mark is 35.

Himachal Pradesh Political Crisis | What's Happening

CM Sukhu To Resign? Here's What He Said

I am a warrior, said Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhi amid reports claiming that he has reportedly offered to resign foreseeing a possible rebellion by disgruntled Congress legislators who cross-voted in favour of the BJP in the Rajya Sabha election on Tuesday.

Congress high command did not seek Sukhu's resignation, but the chief minister offered to quit of his own volition, an report cited sources.

Reacting to such reports, Sukhu said: "There are reports in some media houses that the CM has resigned. I want to clarify that I haven't resigned. I am a warrior. We will prove our majority during the Budget Session. I also want to make it clear that the Congress government will complete its full 5-year term."

Neither has anyone asked for my resignation nor have I given my resignation to anyone, CM Sukhu said.

Sukhu said that the BJP was "spreading rumours" of his resignation, adding that they want to create a break in the legislative party. "They want Congress MLAs to leave the party and join them. Congress is united...Some of the MLAs who voted for BJP are in our contact...," CM Sukhu said.

  • 15 BJP MLAs, including LoP Jairam Thakur, Expelled By Speaker

A total of 15 BJP MLAs, including Leader of Opposition (LoP) Jairam Thakur have been expelled by the Assembly Speaker for allegedly shouting slogans and misconduct in the Chamber of Speaker on Wednesday.

The expelled BJP MLAs are: Jairam Thakur, Vipin Singh Parmar, Randheer Sharma, Lokender Kumar, Vinod Kumar, Hans Raj, Janak Raj, Balbir Verma, Trilok Jamwal, Surender Shori, Deep Raj, Puran Thakur, Inder Singh Gandhi, Dileep Thakur and Inder Singh Gandhi.

Just hours before the expulsion, Himachal Pradesh LoP Jairam Thakur had said they have "a doubt that the Vidhan Sabha Speaker can suspend BJP MLAs to comfortably pass the Budget."

"Some MLAs of Congress have got notices who have voted in the Rajya Sabha elections...Cross voting is not invalid in Rajya Sabha, as directed by the Election Commission...," he had said.

  • Cong Leader Vikramaditya Resigns From Sukhu Cabinet, Then Reverses Decision

Congress leader and minister in Himachal Pradesh government Vikramaditya Singh on Wednesday took back his resignation from the state Cabinet following a meeting with party observers Deepender Hooda, Bhpesh Baghel and DK Shivakumar in Shimla. 

On Wednesday, one day after the party's defeat in the state's Rajya Sabha elections, he submitted his resignation saying "he is hurt" by the way he was treated in the cabinet. 

Hours after he announced resignation, CM Sukhu said he has spoken with Vikramaditya Singh, adding that there is "no reason to accept his resignation." He has some grievances that will be solved, CM Sukhu said.

Speaking after taking back his resignation, Vikramaditya said: "It is the responsibility of every individual to strengthen the organisation. In the larger interest and unity of the party, the resignation by me in the morning which the CM refused to accept, I would not like to press it further. There was no danger (to the government), it was just a creation."

Meanwhile, the six Congress MLAs, who had left for Haryana's Panchkula after cross-voting in the Rajya Sabha election, returned to Shimla on Wednesday. The group also included three independent MLAs, who had accompanied the Congress MLAs to Panchkula on Tuesday.

The legislators, including Rajinder Rana and Ravi Thakur, spent last night in a hotel in Panchkula. The MLAs had reached Haryana from Shimla on Tuesday after casting their votes in the Rajya Sabha polls. They were said to be in touch with the BJP, amid signs of a crisis engulfing the Congress government in Himachal Pradesh.

According to reports, the MLAs are "disappointed" with the working style of Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu and are seeking his replacement.

All nine of them reached Himachal Pradesh Assembly and were greeted with thumping and slogans by BJP MLAs. "Jai Shri Ram, Ban Gaya Kaam," the MLAs greeted them when they arrived.


  • CM Sukhu-Led Govt In Trouble? BJP Seeks Trust Vote

The Leader of the Opposition, Jairam Thakur, met Himachal Pradesh Governor Shiv Pratap Shukla on Wednesday morning, seeking a test of strength for the Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu-led government in the state Assembly.

The victory of the BJP candidate in the Rajya Sabha elections on Tuesday in Himachal Pradesh, with the support of six Congress lawmakers and three independents previously backing the government, has fueled speculation that Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu might have been reduced to a minority.

Himachal Pradesh is the only North Indian state with a Congress government.

The Congress candidate's defeat was expected to increase trouble of the Sukhu government as the annual budget for 2024-25 is to be passed in the state assembly on February 29 and proving his majority in the House would be a big challenge for him, with clear indications of a possible rebellion.


  • CM Sukhu Says Congress MLAs 'Abducted'

Nearly three hours after the polling – in which the Congress deployed a helicopter to fly an MLA into Shimla so that he could vote – Chief Minister Sukhu alleged that “five to six” Congress and independent MLAs had been “abducted” by the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and the Haryana Police.

A video clip that appeared online purportedly showed some Himachal MLAs in about five cars outside a government guesthouse in BJP-ruled Haryana’s Panchkula – a familiar “resort politics” scene when a political party sequesters MLAs to prevent them from voting for the other side.


Congress MLA Ravi Thakur later on Tuesday dismissed Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu's claims that some party legislators were "kidnapped" and said he "can go anywhere" while referring to his visit to Haryana's Panchkula.

Replying to a question on floor test in Himachal assembly, he said, "In the interest of Himachal Pradesh and Lahaul and Spiti, we supported Harsh Mahajan ji so that we can get more budget (from the Centre)."

  • Congress Dispatches Hooda, Shivakumar to Defuse Crisis

Hours after six Congress MLAs voted in favour of the BJP candidate in the Rajya Sabha polls in Himachal Pradesh on Tuesday, the party's top leadership reportedly swung into action to pacify the disgruntled lawmakers.

Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge appointed senior leaders Bhupinder Singh Hooda and K Shivakumar to engage with the six MLAs, who are learnt to be "disappointed" with the working style of Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu and are seeking his replacement, a news agency PTI report mentioned.


According to sources, former Haryana chief minister Hooda and Karnataka deputy chief minister Shivakumar were supposed to reach Shimla early Wednesday to take stock of the situation as the Congress government in the state faces an existential crisis.

The six MLAs had left Shimla for Haryana on Tuesday after casting their votes in the Rajya Sabha polls. They are learnt to be in touch with the BJP, amid signs of a crisis engulfing the Congress government in Himachal Pradesh.