Independent MLAs lodge protest over delay in acceptance of their resignations

SHIMLA, Mar 30:
Peeved over delay on part of Speaker Kuldeep Singh Pathania in accepting their resignations, the three Independent MLAs sat on a dharna at the Vidhan Sabha here on Saturday.
Three Independent MLAs, Hoshiyar Singh from Dehra, Ashish Sharma from Hamirpur and K L Thakur from Nalagarh, who had voted for the BJP candidate Harsh Mahajan in recently held Rajya Sabha elections, tendered their resignation on March 22 and joined the BJP the next day.
The MLAs were carrying placards which read “Hamne swechha se Vidhan Sabha se tyagpatra diya hai, ise turant sweekar kiya jaye” (We have resigned voluntarily from assembly and it should be accepted immediately) during the protest.
These MLAs were issued notice by the Vidhan Sabha seeking an explanation whether they have resigned voluntarily and not under duress.
“We have received representation from the Congress legislative party that these MLAs resigned under duress and not voluntarily and we have sought an explanation from them in this regard,” a Vidhan Sabha staff had told PTI earlier.
The speaker had earlier maintained that the Independent MLAs have submitted their resignation but not cited the reason. It will be put up in file and necessary procedure would be followed, he said.
Meanwhile, the MLAs insisted that they had resigned willfully as they were being humiliated and insulted but instead of accepting the resignations, the speaker sought an explanation from them and asked them to appear before him on April 10.
“We are Independents and don’t belong to any party and are free to resign. It is wrong to say that we resigned under duress and there is no logic in asking why we resigned and our resignations should be accepted forthwith,” MLA Hoshiyar Singh told the mediapersons here.
“Despite repeated reminders and emails, our resignations have not been accepted and we were forced to sit on a dharna and we are unable to know why the resignations are not being accepted, paving way for a fresh mandate,” he added.
Singh further said that they would move the court in case the resignations are not accepted.
“We had also written to the governor but he declined to intervene and in case the resignations are not accepted we would move the court and not wait for April 10,” he said and asked why the Congress was running away from the by-elections.
The other two Independent MLAs — Sharma and Thakur — accused Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu of bringing developments to a standstill in the last 14 months.
Sukhu humiliated us and discriminated with our assembly seats and gave cabinet posts to his friends and unleashed political vendetta by conducting raids on the businesses and registering false cases against the MLAs, they said.
After disqualification of six Congress rebels, the ruling party’s strength has been reduced to 34 from 40 and the BJP is keen that by-elections are held for all nine assembly constituencies.
The Election Commission has so far issued the schedule for by-elections to six constituencies vacated following disqualification of the Congress rebels.
Himachal Pradesh BJP chief Rajiv Bindal has termed the non-acceptance of the Independent legislators’ resignations as unconstitutional and illegal, and said that resigning from post is the right of any individual. (PTI)