Shimla, Sep 14: Taking a dig at the Congress high command, Himachal Pradesh chief minister Virbhadra Singh, on Wednesday, said senior Congress leader Shushil Kumar Shinde, who is also the in-charge for Himachal, is “not the final authority” in the party.
His comments comes days after Shinde announced that the Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu will continue to remain the state Congress chief.
For long, Virbhadra has been pressurising the party high command to remove Sukhu as the state party chief. The two leaders do not share warm relations and have locked horns against each other to gain an upper hand in the ticket distribution and strategy formulation for the upcoming assembly polls.
Responding to question on Shinde’s stance on party’s state chief, Virbhadra on Wednesday said, “Shinde is not the final authority in the party.” He added that his demand to sack Sukhu is because of their differing opinions.
“I don’t have any personal differences with anyone. However, there are differences in our opinions on policy and decision making,” the chief minster said, adding that he has already appraised the party high command about this.
“I have never stretched the issue to a breaking point. I belong to that era of Congress when even party leaders were elected,” he said.
Responding to a query on whether he will contest the polls this time, Virbhadra said the option is open. “It is a million dollar question,” he said.
“So far I have not decided whether to contest the election or not. I am also yet to decide how I will campaign for the party,” he said.
Virbhadra has been making self-contradictory statements on the issue. At one point he announced that he will not contest the upcoming elections, only to take U-turn days later to announce that he will enter the electoral battle at the right time.
On Wednesday, Virbhadra also claimed that he has no immediate plans to meet the party high command.
Last week he had a meeting with Congress president Sonia Gandhi in New Delhi and is learnt to have pitched his demand on removing Sukhu.
He also criticised the Bharatiya Jananta Party (BJP) for its ‘Himachal maange hisab’ (Himachal demands accountability) campaign launched on Tuesday by BJP’s national spokesperson Sambit Patra in Shimla. “What accountability are they seeking from me? Everyone knows that central agencies are after me. Three different agencies CBI, enforcement directorate and the income tax are probing only one case against me,” he said.
Source Hindustan Times