RS poll: Cross-voting haunts in Congress-ruled Himachal

Insight Online News

Shimla, Feb 27 : Cross-voting haunts in the Congress-ruled Himachal Pradesh as the main Opposition BJP has made the battle for the lone Rajya Sabha seat challenging by fielding a Congress rebel who for over a decade played a crucial role in strengthening the party’s organisation at the grassroots.

The BJP has accused the Congress of pressuring its legislators by issuing a whip to vote for the party candidate, Abhishek Manu Singhvi, who is facing a tag of an outsider.

The Congress has a comfortable majority of 40 in the 68-member House. The BJP has a strength of 25 legislators. There are three Independent legislators, comprising two BJP rebels and one Congress, who have indicated support for the ruling party.

The saffron party has fielded Harsh Mahajan, who was once known for his long proximity with Chief Minister Sukhvinder Sukhu.

Three-time legislator Mahajan had left the Congress and joined the BJP just ahead of the assembly elections by saying the previous party was directionless and lacking vision.

Poll observers told IANS that all eyes in this poll are on two legislators — Rajinder Rana and former cabinet minister Sudhir Sharma — who have been “gunning” their government for its failure to fufill poll promises.

Sujanpur legislator Rana and Dharamsala legislator Sharma were strong candidates for ministerial berths but they were deliberately sidelined owing to intra-party squabbles.

A confident Leader of Opposition Jai Ram Tahkur told the media ahead of casting his vote in the state capital, “The legislators should act as per their inner voice.”

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