ANI Photo | Will keeping rebel MLAs under CRPF security strengthen democracy: Himachal CM Sukhu

Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu accused the BJP of murdering democracy, alleging that rebel Congress MLAs have been kept under CRPF security.
Amid reports that rebel Himachal Pradesh MLAs have landed at Dehradun and are on their way to a hotel in Rishikesh, Sukhu said while speaking to reporters on Friday at Palampur, “Some MLAs are sad. They have been kept under CRPF security. Is this how democracy will remain strong? Horsetrading weakens the democracy.”
He slammed the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) which was apparently trying to topple his government by keeping the rebel Congress MLAs under the stiff security cover of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF).
Sukhu said that their family members were putting pressure on them to come back to their home state.
“I have just come to know through social media that they (rebel MLAs) were taken away from the hotel in Panchkula and a charter plane flew from Chandigarh airport. I don’t know where it will land. This is because their family members were putting pressure on them to return,” Sukhu said.
However, he clarified that none of the rebel Congress MLAs have got in touch with him.
The six rebel MLAs who were disqualified from the Assembly were Sudhir Sharma, Rajinder Rana, Davinder K Bhutto, Ravi Thakur, Chaitanya Sharma, and Inder Dutt Lakhanpal under the anti-defection law. After the 2022 Assembly elections, the Congress had 40 MLAs, while the BJP had 25 in the 68-member state assembly. The remaining three seats are held by independents.
These rebel legislators have cross-voted in the Rajya Sabha polls. In the Rajya Sabha election recently, the BJP, which has only 25 MLAs, managed to secure 9 additional votes.
On being asked whether he is in contact with the rebel MLAs Sukhu said, “I am working for the welfare of people. My Council of Ministers and MLAs are busy with that. None of the MLAs have got in touch with me.”
Negating his earlier remark that he would be welcoming the rebel MLAs if they had a change of mind, he said, “I did not say that I would be welcoming them. That was just an example that I used since they have been away from their homes for a long time. If they want to come and if the talks go well, then that is a different matter.”
There have been reports that 11 MLAs, including six from the Congress, landed at Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun on Friday at around 2:40 PM, from where they left in a car towards a hotel in Rishikesh.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Sukhwinder Singh Sukhu, while attending a public event in Palampur, said that permission has been granted for the expansion of Kangra Airport and the cabinet has decided to give a generous relief package to the people displaced from there. Sukhu said that the expansion of Kangra Airport will lead to the development of the Kangra district.
Slamming the Central government, the Chief Minister said that it did not even released Rs 9,043 crore for disaster relief to the state, which should have been received by December.
Chief Minister Sukhu also performed puja at the Shiva temple on the occasion of Mahashivratri. Following this, he inaugurated the five-day state-level Shivratri Mahotsav at the Indira Gandhi Stadium.
Sukhu said that 90 per cent of the state’s population lives in villages and the government has made special provisions in the budget to strengthen the rural economy. He said that after seeing its results in the coming time, farmers will start earning Rs 20 to 25 thousand per month

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