HomePolitics and Current AffairsElectionHimachal Pradesh: Cross Voting Rocks Congress, Operation Kamal Unfolds

Himachal Pradesh: Cross Voting Rocks Congress, Operation Kamal Unfolds

In the face of mounting tensions and shifting allegiances, the future trajectory of the state's political landscape remains shrouded in uncertainty, awaiting the verdict of the ballot box

Himachal Pradesh witnessed a upheaval as cross voting marred the Rajya Sabha elections, signaling a potential downfall for the -led government in the . Former Chief and Leader of Opposition, Jai Ram Thakur, orchestrated a masterful strategy, urging Congress MLAs to heed their conscience, thereby dealing a double blow to the incumbent government.

As the Rajya Sabha polls unfolded, despite the Congress party's whip mandating support for its candidate, whispers of cross voting emerged, implicating a significant number of Congress MLAs and independents aligning with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) nominee, Harsh Mahajan. The clandestine defection has cast a shadow of uncertainty over the fate of the Congress government, as the BJP's Operation gains traction. LoP Jairam Thakur claims that Sukhu government is I. Trouble and has lost majority mark in the assembly. Indicating demand of trust vote he added “.. We will discuss the budget tomorrow and we will see what situation develops there, I can see that the majority government has lost ..”

Among the prominent names implicated in the cross voting saga are Rajendra Rana, Sudhir Sharma, Ravi Thakur, Chaitanya Sharma, Inder Dutt Lakhanpal, and Devendra Bhutto from the Congress ranks, alongside independent MLAs Ashish Sharma, KL Thakur, and Hoshiar Singh. The revelation of cross voting not only jeopardizes the Congress's prospects in the Rajya Sabha but also threatens to embolden the BJP's demand for a trust vote in the ongoing Budget session.

The geographical concentration of dissent, particularly evident in Chief Minister Sukhwinder Singh Sukhu's stronghold of Hamirpur, underscores the deep-seated factionalism within the Himachal Pradesh Congress. The rift between supporters of late leader Virbhadra Singh's family and those aligned with CM Sukhu has laid bare the internal strife plaguing the party, paving the way for opportunistic manoeuvres by the opposition.

The direct contest between Congress's Abhishek Manu Singhvi and BJP's Harsh Mahajan in the Rajya Sabha elections has emerged as a battleground for political supremacy. While Congress maintains numerical superiority with 40 MLAs against BJP's 25, the specter of cross voting has injected a sense of uncertainty into the electoral landscape.

In the aftermath of the voting, CM Sukhu expressed dismay, levelling allegations of horse-trading against the BJP. “We had 40 MLAs and if no one is sold then we will get 40 votes out of 40”, CM Sukhu said.

Meanwhile, Himachal Pradesh Congress chief, Pratibha Virbhadra Singh, remained defiant, expressing confidence in her party's majority and decrying the BJP's purported use of financial incentives to sway votes.

BJP's calculated move to field Harsh Mahajan, leveraging his purported rapport with disgruntled Congress MLAs, has added intrigue to the electoral dynamics. With the outcome hanging in the balance, the Rajya Sabha elections in Himachal Pradesh serve as a microcosm of the larger power struggle unfolding in the state's political arena

Ramkumar Kaushik
Ramkumar Kaushikhttps://www.thebuckstopper.com/
Ram Kumar Kaushik is a seasoned journalist with over 25 years of experience across mediums. The architect of this news website, he is also a consultant with several media groups. He was formerly the group managing editor of ITV Network (NewsX, India News and The Sunday Guardian) and its digital products.
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