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High drama as Himachal ministers storm out of cabinet meet

March 02, 2024 19:33 IST

High drama was witnessed during the Himachal Pradesh Cabinet meeting on Saturday with ministers Jagat Negi and Rohit Thakur leaving midway following a 'heated debate' over policy decisions, sources said.

IMAGE: Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu presides over a cabinet meeting, in Shimla on Saturday, March 2, 2024. Photograph: ANI Photo

Education minister Thakur, however, returned after allegedly being pacified by Deputy Chief Minister Mukesh Agnihotri, they said.

The Congress is on a firefighting mission in Himachal Pradesh after six of its MLAs voted for Bharatiya Janata Party candidate Harsh Mahajan in the Rajya Sabha election for the lone seat from the state triggering a political crisis.


Revenue minister Negi said the meeting -- chaired by Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu -- started at around 12.30 pm instead of the scheduled time of 11 am and clashed with another engagement that he had. Negi said he left as he was getting late.

Addressing media persons, Thakur said he left the meeting briefly to meet someone but later went back.

The sources, however, said before the ministers left, a 'heated debate' had taken place over some policy decisions

Politics is a game of suitability and compromise and good sense should prevail in the interest of the party, a senior Congress leader told PTI while referring to the incident.

Earlier in the day, Rebel Himachal Pradesh Congress MLA Rajinder Rana claimed that nine more party legislators 'feeling suffocated' by Chief Minister Sukhu's style of functioning were in touch with them.

Rana along with five other Congress MLAs, who had cross-voted in the Rajya Sabha polls, were disqualified from the Assembly.

Meanwhile, the Cabinet gave its approval to the Excise Policy for the Financial Year 2024-25 and accorded sanction to engage 1,000 multi-task workers in the Animal Husbandry Department to support veterinary officers.

The Cabinet gave its nod to fill 30 posts of JOA (IT) in the Public Works Department and four vacant posts of senior draughtsman in the Architect wing of the PWD.

It also decided to purchase 10 food safety vehicles and hire the services of 10 food analysts, 10 attendants and 10 drivers in the Health Department.

The Cabinet gave its nod to include more areas of Gram Panchayats Mashobra and Beolia under the ambit of Municipal Corporation Shimla to provide better facilities to the residents.

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