Shimla May, 24: Even as Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh on Monday sought State Congress president’s replacement with his loyalist, an undeterred president Sukhwinder Singh Sukhu On Tuesday said he sees no reason why the high command would remove an honest man like him.
The hostility between Sukhu and Virbhadra seems to be escalating with the Chief Minister meeting AICC vice president Rahul Gandhi in Delhi along with Ahmad Patel, seeking removal of Himachal Pradesh Congress Committee (HPCC) president. He is learnt to have advocated appointment of a Dalit, OBC or a Brahmin leader as state Congress president and also suggested names of Excise and Taxation Minister Prakash Chaudhary and Urban Development Minister Sudhir Sharma for the top party post.
“A majority of the party workers are very happy with the functioning of the Congress party. If somebody is seeking my removal then there are others who also want the Chief Minister changed,” quipped Sukhu when asked about the Chief Minister’s demand for change of the HPCC president.
The verbal duel between the two only seems to be getting bitter with Chief Minister demanding that Sukhu be replaced as early as possible. Virbhadra along with ministers, MLAs and party leaders also met Mullappaly Ramachandran, MP, and senior Congress leader, who is in-charge of organisational elections in Himachal and Gujarat in Delhi on Monday. They gave him a resolution regarding the strengthening of party organization and also sought postponement of party elections, which are to be held between May to October, 2017.
When asked about Virbhadra’s demand for postponement of the organizational elections, Sukhu remarked that the process had already begun. “As of now there is no intimation from any quarter about postponement of the party elections”, he said.
With the Assembly elections due later this year, the utterances by the CM about the organization not being strong have only lowered the morale of the party workers. “While the BJP is working with planning and complete discipline to return to power, the Congress, on the other hand, is caught in bickering between the CM and the state party president,” said a senior party MLA.
Another issue discussed by Virbhadra with the high command is filling of the vacancy in the Cabinet which has resulted due to the demise of Ayurveda Minister Karan Singh earlier this month.
Source Tribune India