Himachal Pradesh CM Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu Denies Resignation Amid Congress Turmoil

Shimla, 28th February 2024: Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu rejected speculations of his resignation amid threats of rebellion from disgruntled Congress legislators and the BJP’s call for a floor test. Addressing reporters, Sukhu clarified that he had not resigned and expressed confidence in proving the Congress government’s majority, stating, “We are fighters, and we will prove our majority.”

In another setback for the ruling Congress, powerful minister Vikramaditya Singh, son of former Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, resigned, citing the disregard for the views of party MLAs.

Following the Rajya Sabha polls, where six Congress lawmakers cross-voted for the BJP candidate, the Congress initiated a disqualification motion against them. Chief Minister Sukhu confirmed the ongoing hearing of the motion after the successful passage of the Budget in the Himachal Assembly.

The Himachal Pradesh Assembly was adjourned indefinitely after passing the state budget, providing temporary relief to the Sukhu government. The BJP’s demand for a division of votes faced a setback with the suspension of its 15 MLAs, including Leader of Opposition Jairam Thakur.

BJP leader Thakur and party MLAs met Governor Shiv Pratap Shukla, seeking a floor test and claiming that Chief Minister Sukhu had lost the mandate. Thakur emphasized that the Congress government had lost the moral right to stay in power.

Congress leader Vikramaditya Singh, after resigning, criticized the party’s treatment of his father and expressed dismay over the government’s lack of respect for the late Virbhadra Singh.

Priyanka Gandhi Vadra is actively addressing the crisis, briefing Congress President Kharge on the situation and maintaining contact with MLAs, including Vikramaditya Singh. The BJP’s unexpected victory in the Rajya Sabha polls, with significant cross-voting within Congress, has left Chief Minister Sukhu in a precarious position. Senior Congress leaders are engaging with disgruntled MLAs to manage the political turmoil. Sukhu mentioned that one of the rebel MLAs has sought forgiveness, and the situation is being addressed, emphasising that the state’s people will respond. Jairam Ramesh asserted that the BJP cannot undermine the people’s mandate in Himachal Pradesh, and the Congress will take necessary steps to protect it.