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Giving ticket to six Congress rebels will spell doom for BJP: Himachal CM Sukhu

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Shimla, May 15 (PTI) Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister has claimed that the Congress government in the state is stable.

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He said giving ticket to six Congress rebels who had voted in favour of the BJP in the Rajya Sabha polls will spell doom for the party.

"After disqualification of the six Congress rebels, we have 34 members in 62-member assembly while the BJP has 25 members. Even if we presume that all the six Congress rebels contesting on the BJP ticket wins, the strength of the BJP will be 31, still short of majority," Sukhu said while talking to PTI Videos.

The six dissidents are neither liked by the Congress cadre nor by the BJP cadre, he said.

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The six Congress MLAs, namely Rajinder Rana (Sujanpur), Sudhir Sharma (Dharamshala), Ravi Thakur (Lahaul and Spiti), Inder Dutt Lakhanpal (Barsar), Chetanya Sharma (Gagret) and Devinder Kumar Bhutto (Kutlehar), had voted in favour of the BJP Rajya Sabha nominee Harsh Mahajan on February 27.

Two days later, they were disqualified for defying a party whip to be present in Vidhan Sabha and vote in favour of the government during the cut motions and budget. These MLAs later joined the BJP and were given the ticket from their respective assembly seats.

"Giving ticket to the six Congress rebels who had voted in favour of the BJP in Rajya Sabha polls will spell doom for the party as the BJP workers are unhappy with the decision. At the same time, the Congress workers are also angry with the rebels and, therefore, the BJP will lose all the six assembly seats," the CM maintained.

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He said in politics, strategy changes according to the time and situation. The issue for the Lok Sabha elections and the assembly bypolls will be different but the attempt to murder democracy by trying to topple the democratically-elected government with the use of money will definitely be a poll issue, said Sukhu.

In an indirect reference to the BJP, the chief minister said the party which could not win the elections is trying to topple the elected government by using money power.

The elections for four Lok Sabha seats and six assembly bypolls will be held on June 1.

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Referring to the alleged derogatory speeches of the Congress and the BJP leaders against each other, he said Himachal Pradesh had never witnessed such remarks during the elections and this behaviour is against the culture of the state.

He said the elections should be contested on issues like past performance of the political parties and their vision. The political parties should talk about the ways to reduce unemployment and inflation. But these issues have been left on the back burner, he added.

He said the BJP is giving statements like there should not be any reservation on the basis of religion in order to divert the attention of the electorates from main issues.

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Responding to the allegation of dynastic politics in the Congress, Sukhu quoted the example of Union minister Anurag Thakur and said he is the son of former chief minister and senior BJP leader Prem Kumar Dhumal.

"It is for the public to decide whether they (BJP) are against dynastic politics or not," he said.

Thakur, the BJP candidate from Hamirpur Lok Sabha constituency, is a four-time MP winning elections for the past 20 years.

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Sukhu complained that 551 people died in the worst ever monsoon disaster last year but no special relief package was given by the Union government to the state. A Rs 4500-crore special package was announced by the the state government from their own resources to help the people, he added.

Listing his government's achievements in the past 15 months, Sukhu said the old pension scheme has been restored, Rs 1500 per month to women in the age bracket of 18 to 59 is being given and women in Lahaul and Spiti district have started benefitting from the scheme.

Moreover, the government is bearing the expenses of education of widows till they attain the age of 27 years, schemes have been started for orphans and Lok Adalats have been conducted to resolve the pending revenue issues. PTI BPL KSS KSS

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