Himachal Pradesh: Betrayal of the mandate will not be allowed, says Congress

BJP wants to "crush" people’s mandate by misusing money power and probe agencies, said Priyanka Gandhi Vadra

Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra with chief  minister Sukhvinder Sukhu (Photo: IANS)
Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra with chief minister Sukhvinder Sukhu (Photo: IANS)

NH Political Bureau

Amid the ongoing political crisis in Himachal Pradesh, Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Wednesday attacked the ruling BJP at the Centre and said the saffron party wants to “crush” people’s mandate by misusing money power and probe agencies.

In a democracy, the general public have the right to choose a government of their liking, she said. “The people of Himachal used this right and formed the Congress government with a clear majority. But the BJP wants to crush this right of the people of Himachal by misusing the money power, power of agencies and its power at the Centre,” Priyanka said in a post in Hindi on X.

If a party with 25 MLAs is challenging the majority of 43 MLAs, then it clearly means that it is dependent on the horse-trading of representatives, she added.

“This attitude of theirs (the BJP) is unethical and unconstitutional. The people of Himachal and the country are watching everything. The BJP, which did not stand with the people of the state during the natural disaster, now wants to push the state into political disaster,” she added.

The Congress vowed to defend the people’s mandate and said the BJP cannot take away the mandate through its ‘Operation Lotus’. The party also said it will not hesitate to take "tough steps" in the party’s interest.

Addressing reporters in Delhi, Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh said party president Mallikarjun Kharge has dispatched three observers Bhupesh Baghel, Bhupinder Singh Hooda and D.K. Shivakumar — to Himachal's capital Shimla and has asked them to submit a report to the party high command.

Ramesh emphasised the supremacy of the party over individual interests. “The people of Himachal rejected PM Modi and gave a clear majority to the Congress party. While we were busy implementing our guarantees, Modi ji was busy fulfilling his guarantees. Modi ji's guarantee is to topple Congress governments. But we will not allow betrayal of the mandate that the people have given to Congress,” said Ramesh, adding that tough measures would be taken and accountability established for cross-voting in the Rajya Sabha poll in Himachal Pradesh.

The political turmoil in Himachal Pradesh erupted after the BJP secured the lone Rajya Sabha seat in the recent elections as six Congress MLAs reportedly switched sides to join the BJP, and former chief minister Vikramaditya Singh resigned from the cabinet. In response to the crisis, senior Congress leaders Hooda and Shivakumar rushed to the state to engage with party members and prevent a power shift.

The Congress, with 40 MLAs in the 68-member Assembly, is facing a challenge from the BJP's 25 legislators. The remaining three seats are held by independents.

Speaking to the media in Shimla, Sukhu on Wednesday said he has not resigned as chief minister of Himachal Pradesh even as his government risks losing majority after the Congress MLAs allegedly cross-voted in the Rajya Sabha polls. "I am a fighter. I hail from a humble family. We will win this battle and also prove a majority in the Vidhan Sabha," he said.

With agency inputs

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