Himachal Pradesh Assembly Descends into Chaos as Speaker Suspends 15 BJP MLAs

Tumult erupted in the Himachal Pradesh Assembly as Speaker Kuldeep Singh Pathania suspended 15 BJP MLAs on Wednesday, accusing them of disrupting proceedings. Despite the suspension, the MLAs refused to vacate the house, staging a sit-in protest, and reports indicate that marshals were called in to evict them, raising concerns about the MLAs’ health.

The suspended Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLAs, including prominent figures like Jai Ram Thakur, Vipin Parmar, and Randhir Sharma, were expelled for allegedly creating chaos in the Speaker’s chamber. The State Parliamentary party affairs minister, Harshwardhan Chauhan, proposed their expulsion from the house, leading to the Speaker’s decisive action.

In the midst of pandemonium and slogan-shouting, opposition MLAs moved to the well of the house. The Speaker instructed marshals to forcefully remove the 15 BJP legislators, leading to a dramatic scene where the MLAs climbed onto the Speaker’s chair and scattered papers.

The Himachal Pradesh Assembly was adjourned until 12 pm amid disruptions, with opposition members protesting in the well of the House. The suspended MLAs continue to stage protests, creating a tense atmosphere.

In response, the BJP accused the government of being in the minority and decried the suspension as an act of dictatorship. The BJP expressed concern about the government’s ability to pass the budget through division voting, leading to the unprecedented suspension of 15 BJP MLAs.

Simultaneously, six Congress MLAs from Himachal Pradesh, who cross-voted in the recent Rajya Sabha election, arrived at the State Assembly in Shimla for the Budget Session. These rebel MLAs, previously staying in a hotel in Haryana, were transported to Shimla by chopper. One of the Congress MLAs, Ravi Thakur, declared his allegiance to the BJP.

The BJP is advocating for a division vote on the budget, and the outcome is critical as failure to pass the budget could result in the collapse of the state government. The Congress holds 40 seats, while the BJP has 25 in the 68-member state assembly, with the remaining three seats held by independents.

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