Law & Judiciary

    Six rebel Himachal Congress MLAs move Supreme Court over disqualification

    The Hawk
    March5/ 2024
    Last Updated:

    A Legal Battle Over Cross-Voting and Anti-Defection. Amidst allegations of horsetrading, the political landscape of Himachal Pradesh heats up as disqualified Congress leaders fight back.

    Supreme Court of India

    New Delhi [India]: Six Himachal Pradesh rebel Congress leaders have approached the Supreme Court, challenging the Assembly's Speaker's decision to disqualify them.
    On February 29, the Speaker disqualified the six Congress MLAs who cross-voted in the Rajya Sabha polls.

    The six MLAs who had been disqualified were Sudhir Sharma, Rajinder Rana, Davinder K Bhutto, Ravi Thakur, Chaitanya Sharma, and Inder Dutt Lakhanpal under the anti-defection law.
    After the 2022 Assembly elections, the Congress had 40 MLAs, while the BJP had 25 in the 68-member state assembly. The remaining three seats are held by independents.
    These rebel legislators have cross-voted in the Rajya Sabha polls. In the Rajya Sabha election recently, the BJP, which has only 25 MLAs, managed to secure 9 additional votes.
    The vote thus ended in a 34-34 tie, with three Independents and six Congress MLAs cross-voting for the BJP. Mahajan ended up winning after the result was decided with a draw of lots.
    Undeterred by critical remarks made by Congress leaders and the internal rift within the state unit of Himachal Pradesh, Chief Minister Sukhvinder Sukhu affirmed on Saturday that he still has the support of 80 per cent of MLAs.
    "BJP indulged in horsetrading and got cross-voting done during Rajya Sabha elections. It is the opposition's job to level allegations, and that is what they will do," Sukhu said.