Himachal Pradesh Jai Ram Thakur

HP: Jai Ram Thakur, Rajiv Bindal Hold Meeting With Kangana

Leader of Opposition of Himachal Pradesh Jai Ram Thakur and state party chief Rajiv Bindal held a meeting with Kangana Ranaut on Monday ahead of her meeting various party workers.

Kangna Ranaut is scheduled to meet the party-workers at Mandi today.

Earlier on Sunday, the former Himachal CM Jairam Thakur had met Kangana at her residence in Mandi.

On meeting Kangana Jairam Thakur said “Met BJP candidate from Mandi-Kullu parliamentary constituency Kangana Ranaut ji today at her residence Bhambla. During this, issues related to the upcoming Lok Sabha elections were discussed. Certainly Kangana ji is going to achieve a big victory in the Lok Sabha elections with the blessings of the people of Mandi Lok Sabha.”

Thakur had earlier appealed to voters to endorse Kangana’s candidature saying “This is a fight for the self-respect of Mandi. This fight is to honor the women of Devbhoomi. Come, let us be a partner in sending Mandi’s daughter Kangana Ranaut to the grand temple of Lok Sabha by winning with an overwhelming majority.”

Meanwhile, on Friday, actor Kangana Ranaut held a roadshow in the city to prepare for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections 2024.

The ‘Queen’ actress was warmly greeted as she waved to the gathered crowd during the event.

“You can see the large gathering here. A lot of people have come here. They are all proud that the daughter of Mandi, the nationalist voice from Mandi, will represent the constituency in this election,” said the BJP Mandi candidate, ahead of her roadshow.

“Development is the main issue for the BJP. The people of Mandi will show what is in their hearts,” Kangana added as supporters around her welcomed her with ‘Jai Shri Ram’ chants.

Himachal Pradesh has four Lok Sabha seats: Hamirpur, Mandi, Shimla, and Kangra. The BJP had won all four seats in 2019.

The elections to the four Lok Sabha seats of Himachal Pradesh and bypolls to the six assembly constituencies that fell vacant with the disqualification of six rebel Congress MLAs will be held on June 1. (ANI)

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Himachal Pradesh Sukhu

Bypolls To Six Himachal Assembly Seats To Be Held On June 1

Bypolls will be held in six assembly seats in Himachal Pradesh on June 1, coinciding with the seventh phase of Lok Sabha polls, on the vacancies that arose due to the disqualification of six Congress MLAs who had cross-voted in Rajya Sabha election last month and defied the party whip in the House during cut motion.

The announcement about the bypolls on 26 assembly seats across various states was made by Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar during the press conference on Saturday to announce the schedule of Lok Sabha polls.

In Himchal Pradesh, the bypolls will be held in Lahul and Spiti, Dharamshala, Sujanpur, Barsar, Gagret and Kutlehar and these contests pose a stiff challenge for the Congress government in Himachal Pradesh which seemed to be on the brink following cross-voting in the Rajya Sabha election that led to the defeat of party nominee Abhishek Manu Singhvi even as the party had a clear majority in the assembly.

The problems for the ruling Congress compounded after Himachal Pradesh PWD Minister Vikaramaditya Singh resigned. His resignation was not accepted even as his mother and state Congress chief Pratibha Singh took jibes at the style of functioning of Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu. A crisis in the ruling Congress was averted due to the intervention of central party leaders.

Congress in Himachal Pradesh has to prepare for the Lok Sabha polls as also for the crucial bypolls to six assembly seats.

BJP has 25 MLAs in the state assembly and Congress had won 40 seats in the assembly polls held in 2022. In the Rajya Sabha polls, three independents apart from six Congress rebels had voted for the BJP candidate with both BJP and Congress nominees getting 34 votes each.

The Election Commission announced the bypolls to five seats in Gujarat, four in Uttar Pradesh, two in West Bengal and one each in Bihar, Haryana, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Karanataka, Tripura, Telangana and Tamil Nadu.

All five assembly bypolls in Gujarat are being held due to the resignation of MLAs while that in Karnal in Haryana is being held due to the resignation of former Chief Minister Manhohar Lal Khattar, who is now the BJP candidate for Karnal Lok Sabha seat.

Voting in bypolls will coincide with the date of the Lok Sabha poll in the state and votes will be counted on June 4.

Disqualified Himachal Pradesh MLAs – Sudhir Sharma, Inder Dutt Lakhanpal, Ravi Thakur, Rajinder Rana, Chaitanya Sharma and Devinder Kumar Bhutto – had moved the Supreme Court against the decision of the assembly speaker. (ANI)

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Severe Snowfall Hits Life In Lahaul-Spiti

Electricity, water supply and communications networks were disrupted in the Kaza area of Lahaul-Spiti district in the upper reaches of Himachal Pradesh on Saturday after a fresh of snowfall across the state, an official said.

Normal life was thrown out of gear in the tribal areas of the district following near-relentless snowfall over three consecutive days–on March 2, 3 and 4.

Speaking to ANI over a satellite phone, an official from the local administration said the entire communication system in the area fell apart following fresh snowfall and only satellite phones were working.

Along with communication lines, the power and water supply have also been hampered by the elements, the official informed.

All communication networks and water supply could only be restored once the power lines and up and running again, the official added.

Further, the official informed further work was underway on a war footing to restore electricity and communication lines at the earliest.

He said several roadways, including three national highways, have been closed in the region in light of the snowfall.

An official in the state disaster management department informed that 346 roads, including 3 national highways, are closed while 365 electricity supply schemes have been hampered and 8 water supply schemes have been disrupted in the wake of the snowfall.

In Lahaul -Spiti district, two national highways and 260 roads are closed and 155 electricity supply schemes have been disrupted.

Earlier, on March 3, an avalanche struck Lahaul’s Tandi Bridg, partially burying shops in the area.

However, no casualties or major losses were reported in the incident. (ANI)

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Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu

Sukhu Calls Breakfast Meet Of All Cong MLAs In Shimla

Ahead of the Assembly session, Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu has called a ‘breakfast meeting’ of all Congress MLAs on Thursday in Shimla.

“It is an important meeting. Let’s see what happens…This is an informal meeting,” party MLA Ashish Butail.

Congress MLA Sudarshan Singh Bablu said, “The CM has called everyone for breakfast. Let’s see what discussions are taking place…We received the message last night. Our Government will continue under the leadership of the Chief Minister.”

On Wednesday the Congress MLAs met individually with the two central observers DK Shivakumar and Bhupendra Hooda. The observers will now submit their report to the party high command.

Meanwhile, the Speaker of Himachal Pradesh Assembly Kuldeep Singh Pathania is likely to pronounce the order on the future of six rebel Congress MLAs who cross voted in the Rajya Sabha polls.

The petition was filed by Congress MLA and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Harsh Wardhan Chauhan under the anti-defection law for disqualification of the six MLAs.

Earlier on Wednesday, the Speaker said that the Parliamentary Affairs Minister had filed a petition against the six MLAs of the Congress party because the anti-defection law attracts proceedings against them.

The Congress government in the state faces a crisis after six MLAs crossed sides and are learnt to be in touch with the BJP. The Congress has 40 MLAs, while the BJP has 25 in the 68-member state assembly. The remaining three seats are held by independents.

The Congress had managed to pass the state budget after the speaker suspended 15 BJP MLAs for allegedly creating a ruckus in his chamber, a move that came under severe criticism from the BJP.

“The BJP has 25 MLAs. The number increased to 34 after the Rajya Sabha voting. This created a danger for the government… They had to pass the budget somehow otherwise the government would fall. For this, they had to decrease the no. of BJP MLAs. 15 MLAs including me have been suspended… We were suspended to save the Congress government. After our suspension, they passed the budget” BJP leader Jairam Thakur said.

The BJP has claimed the Congress had lost the moral standing to be in power after losing majority in the Assembly. (ANI)

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Himachal Rajya Sabha

Six Cong MLAs Who Cross-Voted For BJP Disqualified From Himachal Assembly

Himachal Pradesh Assembly Speaker Kuldeep Singh Pathania disqualified the six Congress MLAs on Thursday who cross voted in the Rajya Sabha polls.

Himachal Pradesh Assembly Speaker Kuldeep Singh Pathania said, “Six MLAs, who contested on Congress symbol, attracted provisions of anti-defection law against themselves…I declare that the six people cease to be members of the Himachal Pradesh Assembly with immediate effect.”

The six MLAs who have been disqualified are Sudhir Sharma, Rajinder Rana, Davinder K Bhutto, Ravi Thakur, Chaitanya Sharma and Inder Dutt Lakhanpal.

The petition was filed by Congress MLA and parliamentary affairs Minister Harsh Wardhan Chauhan under the anti-defection law for disqualification of the six MLAs.

After the 2022 Assembly elections, the Congress had 40 MLAs, while the BJP had 25 in the 68-member state assembly. The remaining three seats are held by independents.

With the six rebel MLAs disqualified the strength of the house comes down from 68 to 62 and the halfway mark is 32. With the loss of 6 MLAs the Congress now has 34 MLAs and the BJP with independents has 28. The fortunes of the Congress will now rest on its ability to keep the rest of its flock together.

Earlier today, Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu had called a ‘breakfast meeting’ of all Congress MLAs in Shimla.

“It is an important meeting. Let’s see what happens…This is an informal meeting,” party MLA Ashish Butail said.

Congress MLA Sudarshan Singh Bablu said, “The CM has called everyone for breakfast. Let’s see what discussions are taking place…We received the message last night. Our Government will continue under the leadership of the Chief Minister.”

The meeting is also being attended by Congress’ central observers Bhupinder Hooda and DK Shivakumar. The observers had met the MLAs individually on Wednesday and are expected to report to the party high command today.

The BJP has claimed the Congress had lost the moral standing to be in power after losing majority in the Assembly. (ANI)

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Himachal Pradesh Assembly

Chaos In HP Assembly; 15 BJP MLAs Suspended

As many as 15 Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLAs of Himachal Pradesh were suspended from the House by Assembly Speaker Kuldeep Singh Pathania on Wednesday allegedly for creating ruckus in his chamber.

The 15 BJP MLA’s who were suspended from the House include Jai Ram Thakur, Vipin Parmar, Randhir Sharma, Hans Raj, Vinod Kumar, Janak Raj, Balbir Verma, Lokinder Kumar, Trilok Jamwal, Surinder Shourie, Puran Chand, Dalip Thakur, Inder Singb Gandhi, Ranbir Nikka and Deep Raj.

The BJP legislators were suspended by the Speaker after the State Parliamentary party affairs minister Harshwardhan Chauhan moved a proposal recommending the expulsion of the MLAs from the house.

The Himachal Pradesh Assembly was adjourned till 12 pm amid disruptions, with opposition members staging protests in the well of the House.

The BJP however has dubbed this a move by the Congress to prevent its government from toppling ahead of the Budget session.

BJP’s winning Rajya Sabha candidate Harsh Mahajan said, “Congress Government is toppling. So such attempts are being made – to suspend them. These are delay tactics and are followed in every Vidhan Sabha…Congress has dismantled from here. All the attempts they make now will fail. BJP will form the Government here…Nine MLAs (who cross-voted) are in my support…”

In fresh trouble for the Congress government in Himachal Pradesh, Vikramaditya Singh, a state minister and the son of the former Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh on Wednesday stepped down from his position.

“All I would like to say is that under the current circumstances, it is not correct for me to continue as a part of the government. So, I have decided that I am resigning from the Council of Ministers. I am resigning as a minister,” Singh said.

The trouble for the government comes at a time when the Assembly’s annual Budget session is going on and ahead of voting on the state Finance Bill in the Assembly.

Union Minister Anurag Thakur who is an MP from the state says the Congress government had not fulfilled any of its promises.

“Congress formed govt in Himachal Pradesh by giving big and fake promises. After the formation of the govt, none of those promises were fulfilled. People used to ask questions when Congress MLAs went to their constituencies…they had no answers to give…no work was done, Congress’ own MLAs were facing a lot of difficulties …why did Congress MLAs abandon their own party within 14 months, what was the compulsion? one of the reasons is that they gave ticket to a non-Himachali person” Anurag Thakur said.

The BJP is pressing for division voting on the passing of the Budget after it is introduced in the assembly. If Congress is unable to see the Budget through the government in the state will fall.

The Congress has 40 MLAs while the BJP has 25 in the 68-member state assembly. The remaining three seats are held by independents. (ANI)

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PM To Army Jawans In Lepcha: ‘My Diwali Is Where You Are’

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday spent his Diwali morning with Indian Army soldiers in Himachal Pradesh’s Lepcha and extended festival greetings to the people of the country.

Addressing a gathering of soldiers at Lepcha, PM Modi extended his warm wishes to the security personnel posted at the borders and told them, “In the last 30-35 years, there has not been a single Diwali that I have not celebrated with you.”

“I come and celebrate Diwali every year with our Army personnel. It is said that Ayodhya is where Lord Ram is, but for me, Ayodhya is where Indian Army personnel are. My festival is where you are,” PM Modi said. 

“When I was neither the Prime Minister nor the Chief Minister, I would go to the border areas during Diwali to celebrate with the security forces,” he said. 

He further said that in every home in the country, a prayer is said for all soldiers guarding our borders.

“It is said that festival is celebrated only where there is family, but today, you all are stationed at the borders while being away from your families, it shows the pinnacle of your devotion to duty,” the Prime Minister said.

“For me, a place where security forces are deployed is no less than a temple,” he added. 

PM Modi also lauded security forces for their contribution to nation-building, enhancing the country’s global prestige

“Given the situation in the world today, expectations from India are continuously increasing. In such a situation, it is important that India’s borders remain secure. India is safe so long as its brave soldiers are standing on its borders, unflinching as the Himalayas. India’s Army and security forces have constantly contributed towards nation-building,” he said. 

He noted that in the past years  in the Indian Army, more than 500 women officers have been given permanent commissions. “Today, women pilots are flying fighter planes like Rafale,” he said. 

He further emphasized that after Independence, Army personnel fought so many wars and won the country’s heart. 

“In the International Peace Mission, India’s global image was improved because of them. Is there any such issue, to which our brave hearts have not provided solution?…” PM Modi said. 

After reaching Lepcha village, the Prime Minster tweeted, “Reached Lepcha in Himachal Pradesh to celebrate Diwali with our brave security forces”, Prime Minister Modi said in a post on X.

Earlier in the day, he greeted people on Diwali and wished them joy, prosperity and health.

Troops of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police and the Indian Army are stationed at Lepcha near the border with China

Himachal Pradesh shares a 260-km border with China. Of the total length, 140 km is in tribal Kinnaur district, while 80 km is in the tribal Lahaul and Spiti district.

Five ITBP battalions deployed in 20 posts that guard the border with China.

Last year, Prime Minister Modi celebrated the festival of lights with soldiers in Kargil and said Diwali means the “festival of end of terror” and that Kargil had made it possible.

The Prime Minister has been celebrating the festival with soldiers for several years now. In 2019, the Prime Minister celebrated Diwali with soldiers in the Rajouri district along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir.

He had called soldiers as his family and lauded them for guarding the borders even during festivals. He had exchanged Diwali greetings with the Indian Air Force (IAF) personnel at Pathankot Air Force Station.

In 2018, Prime Minister Modi celebrated Diwali with jawans of the Indian Army and Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), at Harsil in Uttarakhand. Following that he had offered prayers at the Kedarnath shrine.

In 2017, the Prime Minister celebrated the festival of light with army soldiers and Border Security Force (BSF) personnel in the Gurez Valley of Jammu and Kashmir’s Bandipora District. In 2016, the PM went to Himachal Pradesh to celebrate the festival with Indo-Tibetan Border Police personnel at an outpost. He visited the Punjab border to celebrate Diwali with soldiers in 2015.

In 2014, Prime Minister Modi spent Diwali in Siachen with soldiers. Notably, PM Modi has been visiting soldiers on Diwali, ever since he was the Chief Minister of Gujarat. (ANI)

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Sukhu and Mann

Sukhu Meets Mann, Discusses Key Developmental Issues

Chief Minister Of Himachal Pradesh, Sukhwinder Singh Sukhu met Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann on Tuesday in Punjab’s Amritsar.

Both the leaders held talks on key issues concerning the state of Punjab and Himachal Pradesh. The meeting also targeted the key developmental concerns of both states.

The meeting was attended by other leaders of both parties.

Earlier on Monday, Himachal CM attended the famous Attari-Wagah Border beating retreat ceremony with his Punjab counterpart and Delhi Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena.

“The Indian Army and paramilitary forces have kept the integrity and sovereignty of the country intact by sacrificing their lives when the Nation needed them the most to safeguard the country,” said Himachal CM.

Sukhu also distributed sweets to the Jawans who participated in the ceremony between the thunderous applause by the people gathered on the occasion to witness the same. He also encouraged the Jawans for their commitment and valour and for the impressive show.

Dr Atul Fulzale, IG Jalandhar range BSF and a Himachal IPS cadre officer, welcomed the Chief Minister on the occasion and presented him with a sapling. (ANI)

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NH Blocked Due To Rainfall In Himachal

112 Roads Including NH Blocked Due To Rainfall In Himachal

As many as 112 roads, including National Highway 305, were blocked in Himachal Pradesh due to rainfall on Sunday, according to the State Emergency Operation Centre.

Besides this, 12 water supply schemes have also been disrupted. One fire incident has been reported in the past 24 hours, according to government data.

According to official data, an average of about seven individuals have been losing their lives daily in rain-linked occurrences within the hilly state since the monsoon’s commencement on June 24.  

Himachal Pradesh has been battered by heavy rainfall for the past several weeks and the state has suffered great loss of life as well as property in various rain-related incidents, such as landslides, cloudbursts, flash floods, etc.  

Meanwhile, a total of 397 people lost their lives in rain-related incidents, out of which 143 people have lost their lives due to landslides, flash floods, and cloudbursts. As per information, 370 people have been injured while 39 people are still missing, informed the government on Saturday. (ANI)

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Himachal Pradesh Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu

Improved Air Connectivity Will Open Distant Destinations To Tourists: Sukhu

To increase the footfall of tourists and achieve the target of tourist arrivals to around five crores annually, Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu stressed strengthening the air connectivity and said that 16 heliports were being constructed in all the district headquarters including tribal and far-flung areas in a phased manner to facilitate the tourists to access unexplored destinations in no time.

He was presiding over a meeting late Friday evening in this regard. A detailed presentation was also given on how to enhance the tourism influx to achieve the desired target.

It was informed that in the first phase, nine heliports were to be developed including Jaskot in district Hamirpur, Rakkar and Palampur in Kangra, Sultanpur in district Chamba, Manali in Kullu, Jispa, Sissu and Rangreek in Lahaul-Spiti and Sharbo in district Kinnaur.

CM Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu said, “Detailed project reports (DPRs) for the construction of Sultanpur, Rakkar, Palampur and Jaskot heliports have been received, while for other heliports, the process was underway. Apart from this, the Kangra Airport was being expanded to facilitate the high-end tourists.” 

The Chief Minister informed that in the second phase, the remaining seven heliports would be set up in Pangi and Holi in district Chamba, Auhar in district Bilaspur, Dharkiyari in district Sirmaur, Chanshal in district Shimla, Jankaur-Haar in district Una and Galanag in district Solan.

He said that FCA approval for establishing Rakkar heliport has been received and FCA cases of six heliports including Jaskot, Manali, Jispa, Sissu, Rangrik, Pangi and Holi have been uploaded on the portal.

“Once commissioned fully, the heliports will prove to be a boon to the tourism sector of the State,” CM Sukhu stated.

“When the destinations are made easily accessible, many people prefer to travel there thereby giving a fillip to the local tourism industry and adding to the economy”, added Sukhu.

Tourism is one of the key sectors contributing to the economy of the State, besides opening up employment and self-employment opportunities to the local youth.

He reiterated that the State Government has decided to make district Kangra as ‘Tourism Capital’ of the State and would spend about Rs 3000 crore on this mega venture. This initiative will bring many new projects in the times to come.

Revenue Minister Jagat Singh Negi, Education Minister Rohit Thakur, Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Minister Anirudh Singh, Chief Parliamentary Secretary Sunder Singh Thakur, Principal Private Secretary to Chief Minister Vivek Bhatia and other senior officers also attended the meeting. (ANI)

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