Himachal Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu

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Vikramaditya Singh Tried To Influence Other MLAs: Himachal Chief Minister

Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu also shared that he had a word with Vikramaditya Singh (File)

Amid the political crisis in Himachal Pradesh, especially over Congress MLA Vikramaditya Singh’s resignation, Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu said he had a discussion with the rebel Congress leader during the cabinet meeting on Thursday following which Vikramaditya Singh went to Chandigarh.

“Vikramaditya Singh was in the cabinet meeting yesterday. I had a discussion with him. After the cabinet meeting, he went to Chandigarh and met other legislators at Lalit Hotel there. He has tried to influence the minds of other (rebel) MLAs. Some of them want to come back to the Congress,” the Chief Minister told ANI on Friday.

Mr Sukhu also shared that he had a word with Vikramaditya Singh, a former royal and also the son of six-time chief minister Late Virbhadra Singh.

“I had a word with him (Vikramaditya Singh) in the morning at 7 am, then again at noon. I have told him to speak with the high command as well,” the Chief Minister said.

Mr Sukhu said that while one of the rebel MLAs had telephoned him and shared his interest to come back to the Congress, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) which is taking all steps to topple the Congress government in the hill state, has allegedy stationed more CRPF troops at Panchkula’s Lalit Hotel where the six rebel Congress MLAs are currently staying.

“One of the MLAs rang me up and told me that he wants to come back to the Congress. But he can only come back when he is within Himchal’s boundary. He is at Panchkula’s Lalit Hotel. I have just heard that more CRPF personnel have been stationed there,” the Chief Minister said.

Mr Sukhu said that he will welcome the rebel Congress MLA who wants to come back to the Congress’ fold but they will not take any coercive measures.

“When he has made up his mind, he may come and we will welcome him. It is not in Himachal’s culture to force someone. Hooliganism is not in Himachal’s culture,” he said.

The six MLAs who have been disqualified after they crossvoted in the Rajya Sabha polls are Sudhir Sharma, Rajinder Rana, Davinder K Bhutto, Ravi Thakur, Chaitanya Sharma and Inder Dutt Lakhanpal.

The crossvoting led to a surprise win by BJP’s candidate Harsh Mahajan in the Rajya Sabha from Himachal Pradesh.

Meanwhile, Vikramaditya Singh who on Wednesday took back his resignation as a minister in the state continues to keep the Congress top brass guessing.

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.

With the six rebel MLAs disqualified the strength of the house comes down from 68 to 62 and the halfway mark is 32. With the loss of 6 MLAs the Congress now has 34 MLAs and the BJP with independents has 28. The fortunes of the Congress will now rest on its ability to keep the rest of its flock together.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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