Something hot brewing amid race for CM's chair in Himachal? State Congress workers stop party observer & CM Baghel's convoy in Shimla

Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel, one of the central leaders, has been sent to Himachal Pradesh to decide on a Chief Minister.

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Friday, December 09, 2022, 04:58 PM IST
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Something hot brewing amid race for CM-ship in Himachal? State Congress workers stop Baghel's convoy in Shimla | Twitter video grab/ ANI

Shimla: Himachal Congress chief Pratibha Singh's supporters gathered outside Oberoi Cecil hotel in Shimla showcasing their support to her while stopping Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel's convoy.

Baghel, one of the central leaders has been sent to Himachal Pradesh to decide on a Chief Minister. In the video, the workers were seen surrounding Baghel's car and raising slogans in favour of Pratibha Singh.

There is a hint of groupism in Himachal Pradesh among the Congress party after the frontrunner for Chief Minister post Pratibha Singh gave a statement on how the party got votes and overturned the BJP rule in the name of her late husband and former CM of state Virbhadra Singh. "They can't neglect his (Virbhadra Singh) family. We won on his name, face and work. It can't be the case that you use his name, face and family and then give all the credit to someone else. Even High Command won't do this," Pratibha Singh said. The Congress MP had led the party's campaign but didn't contest the polls.

Congress observers meet Himachal governor ahead of MLAs' meet

Congress observers sent to Himachal Pradesh after the party wrested power from the BJP met Governor Rajendra Vishwanath Arlekar on Friday, ahead of a meeting of the newly elected MLAs.

The MLAs are expected to pass a resolution authorising the party president to pick the legislature party leader who will be the next chief minister.

Earlier, the Congress observers -- Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel and former chief minister of Haryana Bhupinder Singh Hooda -- and AICC in-charge for Himachal Pradesh Rajeev Shukla met state Congress chief Pratibha Singh at a hotel. 

Pratibha Singh, the wife of former chief minister Virbhadra Singh, has indicated that she is in the running for the chief minister's post, a point also made by her son.

"I am not in the race for the top post but my mother is one of the contenders for the post of chief minister," her son and Congress MLA from Shimla Rural Vikramaditya Singh told PTI.

"A meeting of all winning MLAs has been convened and the final decision would be taken by the high command which would be acceptable to all," he added.

The Congress on Thursday won 40 seats in the 68-member Assembly in the hill state which maintained its tradition of not voting any incumbent government to power since 1985.

Hooda, who arrived in Shimla on Friday, met the governor along with Baghel and Shukla.

Hooda later said they have informed the governor that the party has the majority and will seek a formal meeting with him later to stake claim to form the government.

Deciding on the chief minister who can bind the party going forward is the immediate challenge for the Congress.

Pratibha Singh is considered a key frontrunner for the chief minister's post, closely followed by former party chief Sukhwinder Singh Sukhu and outgoing legislature party leader Mukesh Agnihotri.

Congress leader Vikramaditya Singh told reporters here that "collective will of MLAs will be kept in mind and then observers will convey the same to the high command". 

Replying to a question, Singh said, "Whatever the high command decides will be acceptable to all of us." "Post is not important for us. What is important is the promises we made to people we have to fulfil them and we are committed to that," he said.

Government will be formed in two-three days

Shukla had on Thursday said the Congress was happy that it is getting an opportunity to form the government in the state and asserted that the party will do everything to fulfil the 10 guarantees made to the people of the state and would provide better governance to people.

"The newly elected Congress MLAs would meet in Shimla on Friday post-election results and decide on electing the new legislature party leader," Shukla had told PTI on Thursday.

Sources said the MLAs are likely to pass a one-line resolution authorising Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge to decide the CLP leader. This has been the tradition in the Congress party, they said.

(with inputs from agencies)

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