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Ex-Congress MLA Sudhir Sharma seeks FIR against Himachal CM Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu for criminal defamation

'It is deeply concerning that public funds were used by the chief minister to travel to Kutlehar and spread lies. His speech, lacking any evidence, has created offensive content that has spread widely, both within the state and beyond,' Sharma said.
Last Updated : 07 April 2024, 10:17 IST
Last Updated : 07 April 2024, 10:17 IST

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Shimla: Former Himachal Pradesh Congress legislator Sudhir Sharma, disqualified from the assembly for defying a party whip, filed a police complaint on Sunday against Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu for defamation over his 'MLAs sold for Rs 15 crore' remark.

Days earlier, he sent a defamation notice to Sukhu demanding a Rs 5-crore compensation over his remarks. On Sunday, he sought the registration of an FIR against the chief minister.

"The allegation was made against me and other MLAs who recently joined the BJP and are contesting elections," Sharma told the PTI on Sunday. He has been fielded by the BJP for the Dharamshala assembly bypolls.

In his complaint addressed to the Superintendent of Police of Kangra and the state police chief, the four-time MLA said, "Recently, a video and media reports have surfaced in my constituency regarding a misleading speech by Sukhu at Kutlehar in Una district on April 4 making a baseless allegation that legislators were sold for Rs 15 crore each".

"It is deeply concerning that public funds were used by the chief minister to travel to Kutlehar and spread lies. His speech, lacking any evidence, has created offensive content that has spread widely, both within the state and beyond," Sharma said.

"Such defamatory statements by a person of chief minister's stature are highly irresponsible and have caused significant harm to my reputation, as well as to the sentiments of my family and supporters. I urge you to take immediate action and register an FIR against the chief minister for criminal defamation and misleading the masses in his capacity as a public servant," he added in the complaint.

When contacted, SP of Kangra Shalini Agnihotri told the PTI that a complaint has been received through email.

Sharma was among the nine MLAs -- six Congress rebels and three Independents -- who voted in favour of the BJP nominee Harsh Mahajan in the Rajya Sabha elections held on February 27.

The Congress rebels were disqualified by the Speaker for defying a whip to be present in the assembly and vote in favour of the government during the cut motions and budget. All the nine legislators later joined BJP and the Congress rebels were fielded by the saffron party from their respective constituencies.

At a rally in Kutlehar on Thursday Sukhu alleged that the 'six Congress rebels and three Independents were sold for Rs 15 crore each'. A day later, addressing a gathering in Nadaun in Hamirpur district, Sukhu dubbed Sharma as the 'kingpin' of rebels and alleged that he must have received more than Rs 15 crore.

Slamming the chief minister for his comments, Sudhir claimed that the funds available with various departments for development works were withdrawn by the state government and pending payments were stalled.

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Published 07 April 2024, 10:17 IST

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