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Mr SIngh said he took the decision after speaking to the observers sent by the party’s high command.

In signs of a thaw in the infighting-riddled Himachal Pradesh unit of the Congress, state minister Vikramaditya Singh has decided not to “press his resignation” hours after tendering it. He pointed out, however, that there is a difference between taking back his resignation and deciding not to press for it being accepted. 

Six Congress MLAs had cross-voted in favour of the BJP candidate in the Rajya Sabha election on Tuesday, leading to the party suffering a stunning defeat.

Amid a possible threat to the survival of the Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu government, Mr Singh had announced his resignation as the Public Works minister on Wednesday morning. The minister had accused Mr Sukhu of “negligence” towards MLAs and disrespecting his late father and former chief minister Virbhadra Singh. 

After a day of high drama, Mr Singh said in the evening, “I have spoken to the observers that were sent by the party high command. The organisation is more important than one individual. Keeping the organisation strong is every individual’s responsibility. In the larger interest of the party and the unity of the party, I will not press my resignation that was rejected by the chief minister earlier today.”

When reporters asked him whether this meant the threat to the government was over, the minister said, “There was no crisis to begin with. It was a creation. A solution can be found to everything if people work together and take a positive approach. We are here to serve the people of the state and governing is the way to do that. Strengthening the government and serving the people by doing so is everyone’s responsibility.”

Sounding a cautionary note while speaking to news agency ANI, the minister said there is a difference between taking back his resignation and deciding not to press it. “I have said I have spoken to the observers and I will not be pressing my resignation until a final decision is taken.

Rajiv Shukla, Congress’ Himachal in-charge, however, said that the government has a majority and there is no threat to it.


Earlier in the day, Mr Singh had asserted that the 2022 Assembly polls in Himachal were fought and won in the name of his father and former chief minister Virbhadra Singh, who was the tallest Congress leader in the state. After the Congress won 40 out of the 68 Seats, Vikramaditya Singh and his mother Pratibha SIngh, who is the state party chief, were among the frontrunners for the chief minister’s post, but lost out to Mr Sukhu. 

“In the past year, I have not said a word on the government’s functioning. But it is my responsibility to the people to speak out now… The way the government has functioned, the negligence towards MLAs, the drowning of their voices has led us to this point,” the minister had said.

An emotional Mr Singh had also accused the government of disrespecting Virbhadra Singh, alleging that it failed to find land to erect his statue. 

Threat Parried?

The Sukhu government faced a major test on Wednesday, a day after six Congress MLAs cross-voted for the BJP Rajya Sabha candidate, Harsh Mahajan. Three Independents who were backing the government also voted for Mr Mahajan, leading to a tie of 34 votes each between him and the Congress’ Abhishek Manu Singhvi.

This spelled trouble for the government, which needed to get the Budget passed on Wednesday and knew that not being able to do so would prove that it lacked a majority in the House. It managed to stave off that threat, however, after 15 BJP MLAs were expelled from the Assembly for “sloganeering and misconduct”, allowing the Congress to have a working majority. 

The Assembly was also then adjourned sine die, foiling a reported plan by the BJP to move a no-confidence motion. 


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