Bypolls to be held on July 10 for three assembly seats in Himachal vacated by Independent MLAs

NewsDrum Desk
New Update

Shimla, Jun 10 (PTI) Bypolls for three assembly seats in Himachal Pradesh represented by three Independent lawmakers who resigned from the assembly and joined the BJP will be held on July 10, according to the schedule issued by the Election Commission on Monday.

The three Independent MLAs -- Ashish Sharma (Hamirpur), Hoshiyar Singh (Dehra) and KL Thakur (Nalagarh) -- resigned from the assembly on March 22 and joined the BJP the following day.

Their resignations were accepted by the speaker on June 3.

There is speculation now that the BJP may field these three as its candidates from their respective seats.

Sharma, Singh and Thakur were among the nine MLAs, including six from the Congress, who voted for BJP candidate Harsh Mahajan in the February 27 Rajya Sabha elections.

The six Congress MLAs were disqualified from the assembly for defying a party whip to be present in the House and vote in favour of the government. They later joined the BJP and were fielded from the respective constituencies they vacated on a saffron party ticket.

In the bypolls to the six assembly constituencies, held simultaneously with the Lok Sabha elections, the Congress retained four seats while two were won by the BJP.

The 68-member House is now functioning with 65 MLAs after the bypolls. The ruling Congress has 38 MLAs while the BJP has 27.

According to the Election Commission's schedule, the notification for the bypolls will be issued on June 14 and the last date for filing nominations will be June 21.

The papers will be scrutinised on June 24 while the last date for withdrawing nominations is June 26. The votes will be counted on July 13.

Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu said the Independent MLAs could support any party in the House and there was no need for them to resign.

"They were elected for five years but resigned within 14 months and the people of the state will decide their fate," he said.

In a related development, the Congress has dissolved its Hamirpur block unit and will shortly reconstitute it. PTI BPL SZM