RS ticket to outsider, Sukhu ignoring party MLAs led to revolt: Rajinder Rana - Hindustan Times
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RS ticket to outsider, Sukhu ignoring party MLAs led to revolt: Rajinder Rana

By, Chandigarh
Feb 29, 2024 10:33 PM IST

The 57-year-old three-term legislator, who is putting up at a private hotel in Chandigarh with the five other expelled Congress MLAs, said, “We voted in favour of the BJP candidate to uphold the honour and self-respect of Himachal and its people. Was there no leader of stature in the Himachal Congress who deserved a berth in the Rajya Sabha?”

Expelled Sujanpur MLA Rajinder Rana, one of the six Congress legislators who cross voted during the Rajya Sabha elections in Himachal Pradesh, on Thursday said it was the decision to field Abhishek Manu Singhvi, an “outsider”, instead of veteran party leaders from the state that triggered the revolt that almost toppled the Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu-led government.

Former Chhattisgarh chief minister Bhupesh Baghel, Karnataka deputy CM DK Shivakumar, senior Congress leader Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Himachal Pradesh CM Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu and deputy CM Mukesh Agnihotri attend a consultation being held in Shimla on Thursday. (ANI)
Former Chhattisgarh chief minister Bhupesh Baghel, Karnataka deputy CM DK Shivakumar, senior Congress leader Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Himachal Pradesh CM Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu and deputy CM Mukesh Agnihotri attend a consultation being held in Shimla on Thursday. (ANI)

The 57-year-old three-term legislator, who is putting up at a private hotel in Chandigarh with the five other expelled Congress MLAs, said, “We voted in favour of the BJP candidate to uphold the honour and self-respect of Himachal and its people. Was there no leader of stature in the Himachal Congress who deserved a berth in the Rajya Sabha?”

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Blaming CM Sukhu’s style of functioning for the near collapse of the Congress government, Rana said, “The CM was sidelining the party workers who gave their blood and sweat to bring Congress back to power in the hill state. He kept rehabilitating his friends at the cost of the party’s foot soldiers. Besides, the CM is struggling to run the government and fulfil the manifesto promises as the state’s coffers are empty. The party cadre and people of the state are restive.”

“We (the now expelled MLAs) had apprised the senior leadership, including Mallikarjun Kharge, Rahul Gandhi and KC Venugopal, of the brewing unrest among party leaders and workers at a meeting in New Delhi. We told them that the majority of the MLAs were feeling sidelined, demoralised and humiliated.In the meeting, which was also attended by the Himachal CM, we had asked them to intervene and replace Sukhu as he lacks the forethought and magnanimity to take everyone along,” said Rana, adding, “Despite giving us a patient hearing, the high command did not act.”

On Sukhu’s rift with Vikramaditya Singh, the son of former chief minister Virbhadra Singh, Rana said, “He (Sukhu) once took exception to the PWD minister inaugurating a developmental project that fell in the CM’s department.”

Rana, who was formerly with the BJP, is being touted as the architect of the rebellion. He had defeated BJP veteran and two-term chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal in the 2017 assembly elections as a Congress nominee.

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