Vikramaditya Singh’s Big Move As Congress Struggle To Douse Himachal Crisis

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Vikramaditya Singh's Big Move As Congress Struggle To Douse Himachal Crisis

Shimla:

Himachal minister Vikramaditya Singh has sent the Congress leadership in a huddle again after he removed his official designation from his Facebook bio. Formerly identified as the PWD Minister and an Indian National Congress member, his bio now just reads “servant of Himachal”. The Congress government in Himachal Pradesh almost fell after a Rajya Sabha election loss, and has since then been in firefighting mode.

Vikramaditya Singh, the son of six-time former Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, met the other rebel Congress MLAs before leaving for New Delhi yesterday.

Sources reveal that Mr Singh could meet key BJP leaders in Delhi, including prominent figures like former Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur and State President Rajiv Bindal.

He has publicly accused the Congress of disrespecting his father, even though they sought votes in the last assembly elections in his name.  

Simultaneously, the state government, led by Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu, has appointed Ramapur MLA Nandalal as the Chairman of Himachal Pradesh Finance Commission, replacing Vikramaditya Singh. The move is seen as a measure that Mr Singh may have fallen out of favour within the party.

On Wednesday, as the Congress dealt with the challenge of cross-voting MLAs, Vikramaditya Singh had announced his resignation. He accused the Chief Minister of “negligence” towards his lawmakers and broke down as he accused the party of not allotting land for a statue of his father.

That same day the Congress pulled off a last-gasp maneuver to save itself, expelling 15 BJP MLAs to bring down the effective strength of the House and pass the state budget.

Soon after, Vikramaditya Singh took back his resignation.

The political saga will unfold today when the Himachal Pradesh Cabinet convenes at 11 am. The crisis exploded after the six rebels, and three independents who had professed their support, voted for the BJP’s candidate in this week’s Rajya Sabha election, and were then taken by the party.

The Chief minister has accused the rebel MLAs who voted against the party of being “black snakes” who sold their honour. “How can people who sell their honour for money serve the people of their constituency,” he said, while addressing a public meeting in Dharampur,” Mr Sukhu said.

In political life, people who betray their party which gave them a chance to contest elections are called “black snakes,” he said.

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