High Drama in Himachal Pradesh Cabinet Meeting: Ministers Walk Out Amid Heated Debate
High Drama in Himachal Pradesh Cabinet Meeting: Ministers Walk Out Amid Heated Debate

Shimla: Himachal Pradesh's political arena witnessed heightened tensions during the cabinet meeting held on Saturday, March 2, as Minister of Horticulture, Revenue, and Tribal Affairs, Jagat Singh Negi, and Education Minister Rohit Thakur abruptly left the session amidst contentious policy discussions. The absence of Industries Minister Harshwardhan Chauhan and Public Works Minister Vikramaditya Singh, who was away in Udaipur, Rajasthan, further added to the drama.

Sources familiar with the events disclosed that Rohit Thakur departed following a heated exchange over decisions concerning the education sector. However, upon addressing the media later, Thakur attributed his departure to "personal reasons," citing emotional distress.

Thakur elaborated, stating, "We, as people from the hills, are emotionally inclined. I had dropped my son off at his hostel in the morning." Although Thakur briefly left the meeting, he returned after meeting with Deputy Chief Minister Mukesh Agnihotri, who helped diffuse the situation.

Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu chaired the meeting, which commenced later than scheduled, causing inconvenience to Jagat Negi, who had another appointment to attend to. Amidst rumors of unrest within the Himachal Pradesh Congress, the purpose of the meeting was to address growing dissatisfaction among ministers regarding Sukhu's leadership.

In an effort to mitigate tensions, Chief Minister Sukhu tasked Rohit Thakur with briefing the media on the government's decisions from the cabinet meeting. Ayush, Youth Services & Sports Minister Yadvinder Goma, and Technical Education Minister Rajesh Dharmani accompanied him during the press briefing.

Following the meeting, Jagat Negi and Yadvinder Goma headed to Chandigarh, where they were speculated to meet with the six disqualified lawmakers currently in Panchkula. Negi remained tight-lipped about the purpose of his visit, stating that he would disclose details later.

The recent cabinet reshuffle saw Rajesh Dharmani taking over the technical education department, further straining Rohit Thakur's relationship with the Chief Minister. Thakur was assigned additional responsibilities in the stationery and printing department. Similarly, Harshwardhan Chauhan lost the Ayush portfolio and was given charge of the labor and employment department.

Meanwhile, rebel Congress MLA Rajinder Rana accused Chief Minister Sukhu of distorting facts and labeled him as "liar number one." Rana highlighted discontent among MLAs, asserting that nine legislators were feeling suffocated under Sukhu's leadership. The political turmoil intensified after the Bharatiya Janata Party secured a Rajya Sabha seat despite being in the minority, leading to disqualification of six Congress MLAs for cross-voting.

Vikramaditya Singh, who initially announced his resignation from the Cabinet, later rescinded it following discussions with Congress observers. Despite discontent within the party, the central leadership recommended Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu to remain Chief Minister until the forthcoming general election.

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