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Onus on assembly speaker to take decision on resignation of 3 Independent MLAs: HP governor

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Shimla, Apr 3 (PTI) Himachal Pradesh Governor Shiv Pratap Shukla on Wednesday said that he had forwarded the letters of three Independent MLAs to the assembly speaker and the onus to take a decision on accepting their resignations is on him.

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The MLAs -- Hoshiyar Singh, Ashish Sharma and K L Thakur -- submitted their resignation letters to the assembly speaker on March 22 and then wrote to the governor seeking his intervention.

"I have sent the letters to the speaker quoting the Supreme Court verdicts in cases of Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh and hope that the speaker has taken cognizance of it," Shukla said, adding that the Raj Bhawan has dignity and he will maintain it.

The governor said the Raj Bhawan does not possess authority in this matter and that he acted as a conduit forwarding the letters to the speaker.

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These three MLAs, along with six Congress rebels, had voted in favour of the BJP in the Rajya Sabha election held on February 27. They submitted their resignation from the assembly to the speaker, a day before they joined the BJP.

However, the assembly has sought explanation from these MLAs by April 10 following a representation from the Congress Legislature Party that they resigned under duress and not voluntarily.

Peeved over the delay in accepting their resignations, the three Independent MLAs on Saturday sat on a dharna at the Vidhan Sabha, demanding immediate acceptance of their resignations.

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Leader of the opposition Jai Ram Thakur had on Tuesday said that "as per the rules, if a member of the legislative assembly submits resignation personally to the speaker, it should be accepted without any delay and maybe the speaker is under pressure from the Congress government and Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu," but this is not right.

"We are also taking legal opinion on the matter," he had added.

With the disqualification of the six Congress MLAs, the strength of the ruling party has come down from 40 to 34, including the Speaker who can vote only in the case of a tie during a floor test, in the 68-member assembly. The BJP has 25 members in the House. PTI BPL SMN

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