Shimla, Aug 17: Virbhadra-backed leadership here have put a bitter task before state Congress party in-charge Sushil Kumar Shinde on Wednesday forcing him to talk about factionalism in party during his speech to hundreds of workers at indoor stadium of this town. Chief minister Virbhadra tried to put up a show of strength by sidelining the senior leader and his known bete noire Cabinet minister GS Bali. Except Bali, all other leaders of Virbhadra’s camp attended the meet.
Shinde has started his statewide tour from Kangra district to gear up the party unit for upcoming polls. But he was welcomed by the congress workers in tiff between Virbhadra and his cabinet colleague Bali. Virbhadra Singh reached here a day before Shinde’s arrival and had a night halt following meetings with various congress leaders.
In addition to this, Singh even moved his cavalcade from Dharamshala to Kangra airport to welcome Shinde. They both reached circuit house and had a closed door meeting over lunch. Hoardings of party leaders placed around the venue too exposed the rifts. As even associate member of Congress government and independent MLA Pawan Kajal from Kangra was given a space, but Bali’s face was omitted.
Fissures also came to fore when Virbhadra addressed party workers. He said that there a few congress leaders in party are the agents of BJP. “There is no need for me to name black or white crows in party, people are smart and able enough to identify. The only need is to defeat such leaders from whichever seat they fight elections in upcoming months” he said adding that such leaders are more dangerous than opposition parties so throw them out of congress.
After these remarks by Singh, Shinde who was sitting on stage with other congress leaders of Kangra and Chamba district said that infighting in party is not a new thing. “This is not the first time that I am party in-charge of Himachal. In 1992 also I did the same job, and then it was Pt. Sukhram and Virbahdra Singh who were known for their rifts with each other” he said. He further added that at that time the condition was even worse as whenever there is a meeting with both leaders a brawl was always expected.
“When we use to be in a meeting room, there use to be huge rush of people outside. And they kept predicting of a sure fight inside” he said. But people at that time elected congress to power, he added. During his conclusion he tried to put a united face of party and said there is nothing serious about infighting. “Now we are all in one direction. There are no disagreements between us” he said. Member of Parliament (MP) from Bihar, Ranjeet Ranjan also accompanied him.
State party chief Sukhvinder Sukhu and cabinet ministers Sujan Singh Pathania, Thakur Singh Bharmouri Sudhir Sharma attended the meet. MLAs included Sanjay Rattan, Ajay Mahajan, Kishori lal, Pawan Kajal (associate member of congress government), Yadvinder Goma and other leaders holding posts in various boards and corporations in state.
Source Tribune India