Updated: November 23, 2022 04:34 IST
By Siddharth Sharma
New Delhi [India]November 23 (ANI): With two weeks left for the announcement of results from last month’s Himachal Pradesh elections, congressional heavyweights in the state are looking to secure the post of prime minister.
Congressional sources say domestic polls indicate the party is likely to win a majority in Himachal polls, leading to an increase in the number of contenders for the prime minister’s post.
A senior executive told ANI that he is confident that the Congress is winning 42 to 46 seats in Himachal and that some independent MLAs who are expected to move forward in the battle are also in touch.
The situation is that the senior leaders of Himachal have already started making their presence in Delhi. Former state president and election committee head Sukhwinder Singh Sukhu is visiting senior officials in Delhi, while Pratibha Singh, Mandi party MP and wife of ex CM Virbhadra Singh and her son Vikramaditya, is also proposing to visit the national capital .
After becoming the Himachal Pradesh CM in 1983, Virbhadra Singh had dominated the state Congress. Whenever the party formed the government, he became the CM of Himachal.
This is the first election since 1983 that the party has fought without Virbhadra Singh due to her passing.
However, it was Virbhadra Singh’s command that his wife Pratibha Singh skipped the election becoming president before the election. The party also fielded his son MLA Vikramaditya for the second time. But his negligible administrative experience stands in the way of the CM presidency of the royal family, the sources said.
Another great leader of the Thakur community, Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu, the former Himachal Congress Speaker, is also running for the post of prime minister. Sukhvinder, who had also been the head of NSUI state and Youth Congress, never had good relations with Virbhadra Singh.
Also, Dalhousie’s six-time MLA Asha Kumari hails from the royal family of the Thakur caste. Asha Kumari is the sister of TS Singh Deo, a government minister of Chhattisgarh. In particular, the high command of the party is said to have promised to carry out TS Singh Deo for two and a half years which was not fulfilled and Bhupesh Baghel continued as Chhattisgarh CM.
Party sources said that if Asha Kumari, who was previously a cabinet minister, reaches the assembly for a seventh term, then the family could claim the prime minister’s post for her. long political struggle also between Asha Kumari and Virbhadra Singh. Asha Kumari was also said not to be on good terms with Virbhadra Singh.
Now, keeping the family of the late Virbhadra Singh away from the Prime Minister’s chair and handing over the baton to his opponent leader Thakur will prove to be a problem for the high command and the rest of the veterans may oppose the short-statured Thakur leader Royal Family, they have said sources.
In such a situation, there are two influential Brahmin leaders Mukesh Agnihotri and Sudhir Sharma close to Virbhadra Singh’s family who could be alternative choices for the party.
However, in the politics of Himachal, it is difficult for the Congress high command to give preference to Brahmins over Thakurs. After all, for years, be it Congress or BJP, they have been betting on Thakurs with more population for CM presidency, be it Virbhadra Singh, Prem Kumar Dhumal or Jairam Thakur.
Senior Congress leader Rajiv Shukla held a meeting with all Congress candidates in the Himachal Assembly polls on Tuesday and discussed preparations for counting day.
Pertinent to mention, the Congress expressed similar hopes after the Uttarakhand polls a few months ago and preparations were made to appoint Harish Rawat CM but the results were different and the BJP formed the government. This time, Congress has asked its leaders not to hover around Delhi until the Himachal Pradesh poll results are announced.
Restlessness can be witnessed among the leaders of the Himachal unit of the party and individual efforts are being made to shine their luck. For this, the process of getting winnable MLAs into their fold has also started underground.
Voting for the 68 legislative assembly seats in Himachal Pradesh took place on 12 November and the state recorded a voter turnout of 75.6%, thus breaking the 2017 record.
The results are expected to be declared on December 8. (ANI)
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