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Himachal Pradesh minister Vikramaditya Singh has stirred speculation within the Congress leadership by removing his official designation from his Facebook bio.

Previously recognized as the PWD Minister and a member of the Indian National Congress, his bio now simply states “servant of Himachal”.

The Congress government in Himachal Pradesh faced instability following a setback in a Rajya Sabha election and has since been engaged in crisis management efforts.

According to sources cited by NDTV, Singh might hold discussions with significant BJP figures in Delhi, such as former Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur and State President Rajiv Bindal.

Vikramaditya Singh, son of former Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, met with other dissident Congress MLAs before departing for New Delhi on Friday.

Meanwhile, Congress MLA Rajinder Rana said, “It is not Congress’ government in Himachal Pradesh, it is only the government of Sukhvinder Sukhu‘s friends… Everyone is aware of the state’s situation. The youth is on the roads after writing exams. They are still waiting for the results. The guarantees given to the people are not being fulfilled and selected MLAs are being treated disrespectfully.”

Earlier, Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh on Friday Sukhu stated that he authorized minister Vikramaditya Singh to engage with the rebel MLAs who cross-voted in the Rajya Sabha polls. He referred to the same six MLAs as “black serpents”.

Vikramaditya Singh, who is the son of the party’s state unit president Pratibha Singh, also had plans to meet Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge in Delhi amidst the ongoing crisis within the Himachal Congress.

As a potential effort to appease the discontent within the party’s state unit, Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu appointed Rampur MLA Nand Lal as the chairman of the 7th State Finance Commission, granting him the status of a cabinet minister.

Also Read: ‘Some rebel MLAs want to come back…’: Himachal Pradesh CM Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu adds new twist to Congress row

The MLA selected for this role is known to have close ties with Vikramaditya Singh and Pratibha Singh. On Friday, she reiterated her dissatisfaction, expressing that party workers had been overlooked by Sukhu since the Congress assumed power in the state over a year ago.

The crisis in Himachal Pradesh erupted this week when six Congress MLAs voted for BJP candidate Harsh Mahajan in the Rajya Sabha election for the lone seat from the state.

The MLAs who supported Congress candidate Abhishek Manu Singhvi fell short of the required majority in the 68-member House.

Following this, Speaker Kuldeep Singh Pathania disqualified the six MLAs from the assembly after Congress lodged a complaint stating that they had abstained from voting on the state budget despite a party whip. Additionally, fifteen BJP MLAs were suspended due to disruptions in the House.

Also Read: CM Sukhwinder Sukhu will continue for 5 years, says Shivakumar; ‘can’t say’, replies Congress HP chief Pratibha Singh

Amidst the turmoil, Vikramaditya Singh initially tendered his resignation from the cabinet but later moderated his stance after meeting with Congress observers dispatched to Shimla by the party’s central leadership.

The disqualified MLAs, Sudhir Sharma, Ravi Thakur, Rajinder Rana, Inder Dutt Lakhanpal, Chetanya Sharma, and Devinder Kumar Bhutto, are currently staying in a hotel in Haryana’s Panchkula. Singh met with them late Thursday night while en route to Delhi.

(With inputs from agencies)

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Published: 02 Mar 2024, 12:25 PM IST

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