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Himachal political crisis: Cabinet minister Vikramaditya meets rebels

Shimla, March 1 2024-

The “political crisis” in the Congress government in Himachal Pradesh seems yet to be over as Cabinet minister Vikramaditya Singh, who too raised a “banner of revolt” against Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu, on Friday reached Delhi after meeting rebel MLAs in Chandigarh.

A day earlier, Congress’ observer D. K. Shivakumar informed that the Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu government will stay, and all the MLAs want a Congress government for five years.

Out of six rebel MLAs, facing disqualification under the provision of the anti-defection law, two MLAs did not meet Vikramaditya Singh.

Vikramaditya Singh, the son of former Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, resigned on February 28 from the Council of Ministers. He openly said that legislators had been sidelined, ignored and there were fiscal mismanagement.

“All these issues were raised from time to time with the High Command in Delhi but they deliberately ignored the concerns,” he had said.

After two days of parleys and series of meetings by party’s central observers — D.K. Shivakumar, former Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel and former Haryana CM Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Congress state president Pratibha Singh and her son Vikramaditya were pacified.

Second-time legislator Vikramaditya Singh did not withdraw his resignation till the observers announced a six-member committee for coordination between the government and the party organisation.

Political observers said ignoring Vikramaditya Singh and mother and Member of Parliament Pratibha Singh, under whose leadership the party sought votes, could be the thorn that can prick where it hurts the most, if their family stature in state politics is ignored.

Pratibha Singh, who was mollified by the party high command that her legislator son will be accommodated suitably later, is the widow of party veteran Virbhadra Singh, who remained at the helm of the state for a record six times and led numerous political battles single-handedly, even when he turned octogenarian.

The veteran leader passed away early in July 2021 in Shimla at the age of 87, leaving behind a rich political legacy of pursuing politics on his own terms, rather than banking on his proximity to the party high command.

A group of six Congress legislators, now facing disqualification from the party, cross-voted for the BJP candidate in the Rajya Sabha polls as they were “disappointed” with the working style of the Chief Minister and seeking his replacement.

Even Vikramaditya Singh at the time of his resignation told the media that the government was formed with everyone’s contribution but the MLAs were overlooked and attempts were made to stifle their voices. (Agency)

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