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Himachal Independents' popularity put to test in by-polls

"People must question these Independents, why they resigned and put the economic burden of by-polls on the public when they were elected for five years. They could have opposed the government in the state Assembly without resigning or joining BJP," Chief Minister, Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu mentioned in all his poll rallies in the three constituencies.

News Arena Network - Shimla - UPDATED: July 3, 2024, 06:17 AM - 4 mins read

Ashish Sharma (Hamirpur), Hoshiyar Singh (Dehra), and K L Thakur (Nalagarh).

Himachal Independents' popularity put to test in by-polls

Ashish Sharma (Hamirpur), Hoshiyar Singh (Dehra), and K L Thakur (Nalagarh). File photos.


After six disqualified Congress rebels in Himachal Pradesh, four of whom lost the by-poll on BJP ticket in June, the popularity of three Independent MLAs, who resigned to contest on BJP ticket, is put to test within 15 months in July 10 by-polls.

 

The ruling party, which went public with the allegation that the party rebels had joined BJP due to ‘dhanbal’ (money power), is aggressive against the Independents for imposing by-polls on the state within 15 months, though they were elected for five years by the people. The BJP is replying to the issue in a counter-offensive way in the poll battlefield.

 

"People must question these Independents, why they resigned and put the economic burden of by-polls on the public when they were elected for five years. They could have opposed the government in the state Assembly without resigning or joining BJP," Chief Minister, Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu mentioned in all his poll rallies in the three constituencies.

 

"The government is in the know of things about what conspired between the Congress rebels, the Independents, and the BJP and why these MLAs were up against the Congress government. The BJP wanted to topple the Congress government with ‘dhanbal’ (money power) and got the support of all these MLAs in the Rajya Sabha poll first. However, the opposition could not succeed in its motive in front of the ‘janbal’ (peoples’ power) ultimately," the Chief Minister explained, exhorting the people to vote for the government, which is going to stay for full tenure.

 

Former Chief Minister, Jai Ram Thakur, on the other hand, tells the people to ask the Chief Minister as to why the by-polls are being held.

 

"The CM is responsible for imposing all the by-polls. He had created a situation where his party MLAs turned rebels. His dictatorial attitude then forced the Independent MLAs to resign. Not only the Independent MLAs, their family members, and relatives were also harassed and implicated in false cases, “the former BJP CM said in his poll rallies.

 

Jai Ram Thakur said the CM had put on hold all the development works in the constituencies of Independent MLAs and he even denotified many institutions, particularly in Dehra.  

 

The three Independents, Hoshyar Singh in Dehra, Ashish Sharma in Hamirpur, and KL Thakur in Nalagarh, had resigned from the state Assembly immediately in March after the Congress government had slipped into crisis due to rebellion followed by disqualification of six rebels Congress MLAs from The Assembly.

 

The six Congress MLAs as well as the Independents had joined the BJP, which triggered the debate that the BJP was out and out to destabilise and topple the Congress government in Himachal within just 12 months of rule.

 

The by-polls to six constituencies, Badsar, Sujanpur, Kutlehar, Gagret, Dharamshala, and Lahaul Spiti, vacated by the disqualification of six Congress MLAs were held with Lok Sabha elections on June 1, in which Congress won back four out of six seats, and BJP wrested two. The Congress now has a strength of 38 and BJP 27 in the state Assembly.

 

The by-polls to constituencies vacated by Independent MLAs could not be held together with the other six on June 1 as the HP Assembly Speaker had not accepted their resignations by then.

 

"Congress will win all the three by-polls and take our strength to 41 in the state Assembly, against 40, that we secured in the 2022 Assembly polls. While four Congress rebels have already paid the price of rebellion and joining BJP within just 13 months of Congress rule, these three Independent MLAs, who resigned and are contesting on BJP ticket, will also face big defeat. The people are asking them why they resigned when they were already chosen as MLAs for five years," said Deputy Chief Minister, Mukesh Agnihotri, while talking to media persons in Shimla.

 

Agnihotri said the BJP cadres and workers were upset with the party giving tickets to Congress rebels and Independent MLAs now, and just because BJP lusts for power, five legislators ( two earlier and three now) would become former MLAs.

Related Tags:#Himachal By-Polls
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