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Budget passed in HP Assembly by voice vote, 15 BJP MLAs suspended

Budget passed in HP Assembly by voice vote, 15 BJP MLAs suspended

Shimla, Feb 28 (UNI) The Congress government in Himachal Pradesh, which plunged into a crisis after the party candidate lost the Rajya Sabha poll to the BJP nominee following cross-voting by the ruling party lawmakers, seemingly got a lease of life after the budget was passed in the Assembly on Wednesday amidst a high voltage political drama.
On Tuesday, six Congress MLAs, said to be unhappy with the Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu government, cross-voted in favour of BJP candidate Harsh Mahajan, who finished level with Congress nominee and renowned advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, in the poll count. Mhajan later won on the toss.
Following a protest by the opposition BJP on Wednesday in the Assembly during its budget session, Speaker Kuldeep Pathania suspended 15 BJP members, following which the ruling party got the budget passed on voice vote. The BJP members had earlier sought a division of votes, which the Speaker turned down.

Earlier, Chief Minister Sukhu denied that he had stepped down from his post as was being claimed by some news channels and described it as a "sinister design" of the BJP.
Sukhu said that he was a 'warrior' and would fight to the finish.
The six Congress rebels and three independents who had indulged in cross voting on Tuesday, reached the state capital amid tight security to attend the budget session and later went back to Panchkula in BJP-ruled Haryana under CRPF cover.
Senior Congress observers, including Rajeev Shukla, Deepender Singh Huda and DK Shive Kumar are also in the hill capital for one-to-one meetings with the Congress MLAs before submitting their report to the Congress high command.

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