Rebel Himachal Congress MLAs likely to withdraw plea against disqualification; seek re-election

Roma R
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six disqualified rebel Congress MLAs in Himachal Pradesh

Six disqualified rebel Congress MLAs in Himachal Pradesh

New Delhi: With the Election Commission of India (ECI) announcing the schedule of by-polls on six seats in Himachal Pradesh, the rebel Congress legislators are likely to withdraw their plea in the Supreme Court seeking restoration of their assembly membership.


The six Congress legislators -- Rajinder Rana, Sudhir Sharma, Inder Dutt Lakhanpal, Devinder Kumar Bhuto, Ravi Thakur and Chetanya Sharma -- had moved the Supreme Court against their disqualification by Speaker Kuldeep Pathania for defying a party whip to be present in the House and vote in favour of the Himachal Pradesh government during the cut motion and budget on February 28.

Following their disqualification, the effective strength of the House has gone down to 62 from 68, while the number of Congress legislators has decreased to 34 from 40.

A day earlier on February 27, these legislators had cross-voted against Congress candidate Abhishek Manu Singhvi in the Rajya Sabha elections, resulting in his defeat and the wayvictory of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Harsh Mahajan.


The matter is now coming up for hearing in the Supreme Court on Monday.

It is learned that the rebels have decided to withdraw their plea after the ECI announced the by-poll on six seats along with the Lok Sabha elections on four seats in Himachal Pradesh on June 1.

It is said the BJP was keen to go for elections on these assembly seats along with the Lok Sabha polls to cash in on the perceived popularity of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Accordingly, the rebels have decided to opt for elections and not go for the court ruling on their disqualification. They might join the BJP in coming days and seek re-nomination to the state assembly as its candidates.