Six Congress rebel MLAs have been disqualified from the membership of Himachal Pradesh Assembly under the anti- defection law by the Vidhan Speaker Kudeep Singh Pathania on Thursday.

Pathania said, “The six MLAs defied the party whip by not being present in the Assembly during the voting on cut motion and the passing of the budget, the petition in this regard was filed on the basis of a complaint by Parliamentary Affairs Minister Harshwardhan Chauhan on behalf of the Congress party.”

He said, “Their conduct is unethical as all six have defied the whip which attracts the provisions of the anti-defection law for their disqualification and I have to see whether politics of aaya-gaya and horse-trading is being indulged which is against the spirit of the anti-defection law.”  

The Speaker said, “In my capacity as chairman of the tribunal under the anti-defection law, I have given this verdict and hold that the respondents have incurred disqualification under the10th Schedule. I declare that all six cease to be MLAs of the Himachal Legislative Assembly with immediate effect,” he said.

He said these MLAs contested from the Congress and as per the provisions of the anti-defection law, they stand disqualified. “I gave an exhaustive hearing to the lawyers of these MLAs and they took more than two hours and produced the entire record,” he said.

The rebel MLAs had cross voted for BJP candidate Harsh Mahajan in the Rajya Sabha election held on February 27, enabling him to win the election leading to defeat of Congress candidate Abhishek Manu Singhvi.

The State Congress president Pratibha Singh Thursday “Justified the grievances of rebel Congress MLAs and said it will have adverse impact on the coming Loksabha election in the state.”

( Pratibha Singh meeting Congress observer Bhagvati Charan Dass in Shimla today )

She said, “The disillusionment of the six rebel MLAs needed the attention of the party but nobody tried to find a solution and had the grievances addressed things would have been different; it has been almost a year they have been raising issues,” she added.  

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