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BJP wins Rajya Sabha poll in Himachal after 6 Congress MLAs' cross-voting
RS election
Videograb of BJP candidate Harsh Mahajan

BJP wins Rajya Sabha poll in Himachal after 6 Congress MLAs' cross-voting

| @indiablooms | 27 Feb 2024, 10:56 pm

Shimla/IBNS: In a huge setback for the Congress, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has managed to secure victory for its candidate in the lone Rajya Sabha seat from Himachal Pradesh despite having only 25 MLAs in the 68-member Assembly.

The BJP managed the victory thanks to the cross-voting by Congress MLAs and a draw of lots that went in its favour.

The loss could be much bigger than just a blow to the Congress's reputation as it is likely to be followed by a no-confidence vote, endangering the party's government in Himachal Pradesh, one of only three states where it has a government on its own.

The impact of the loss will be even huge for the Congress considering that the Lok Sabha elections are just weeks away.

Declaring the victory of the BJP candidate, Harsh Mahajan, Leader of the Opposition, Jairam Thakur said: "Despite having such a huge majority, the Congress has lost the Rajya Sabha election in Himachal Pradesh. I want to congratulate Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP President JP Nadda and (Home Minister) Amit Shah. We pulled off a victory when our chances seemed very low."

As the Congress has 40 MLAs in the Assembly, its candidate, Abhishek Manu Singhvi, was expected to win comfortably.

During voting on Tuesday, six Congress MLAs and three Independents supporting the government cast their ballots for the BJP, according to reports.

Helped by six Congress MLAs and three Independents, the BJP secured 34 ballots for Mahajan, reducing the votes for Singhvi to the same number. The winner was then decided through a draw of lots, which went in Mahajan's favour.

After the results were declared, Singhvi said: "Any party fielding a candidate when it has just 25 MLAs and the government has the support of 43 sends out only one message - that they are shamelessly planning to do something that the law does not allow. And I am not talking about Mr Mahajan or this election alone, I am talking about the principle."

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