Himachal Pradesh: No Consensus In Himachal Congress For CM, Party High Command To Take A Call

Party in-charge Rajeev Shukla said that all 40 newly elected Congress MLAs have adopted a single line resolution authorising the party high command to name the Chief Minister as there was no consensus on a single name.

Congress party celebrates after Himachal Pradesh election results

After a day marked by high drama in Shimla -- first in front of hotel ‘Oberoi Cecil’ and later at the Congress office -- the newly elected Congress MLAs adopted a single-line resolution to authorize party president Mallikarjun Kharge to take a decision on a new Chief Minister in Himachal Pradesh.

The meeting of the MLAs was convened later in the evening at the Congress office where two All India Congress Committee (AICC) observers -- Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel and former Haryana Chief Minister Bhupendra Singh Hooda, besides party incharge Rajeev Shukla -- had arrived to initiate the process for the formation of the government.

The Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) Head Pratibha Singh's supporters, who gathered in front of hotel ‘Oberoi Cecil,' raised slogans in her favour and stopped Baghel’s car, asking him to name the former Chief Minister’s wife as leader of the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) and eventually as the Head of the new government.

Even as some senior party leaders tried to stop the supporters from creating nuisance on the streets, they refused to budge, asserting that Virbhadra Singh’s family should be asked to lead the Congress.

Pratibha Singh also reached there and held informal consultations with the high command representatives, who later marched to Raj Bhawan to hand over the list of newly elected Congress MLAs to Governor Rajendra Vishwanath Arlekar.

Later in the day, the scene shifted to the Congress office – when supporters realized the MLAs will be reaching there for the scheduled meeting to elect a new leader.

The supporters kept shouting slogans --- "Rani Pratibha Singh, All the way, All the Way!", "Rani sahiba baste, khali kar do raste," and "Virbhadra Singh amar rahen."

When Sukhwinder Sukhu arrived with his supporting MLAs — the sloganeering further intensified even as media persons were also jostled along with MLAs and Congress leaders.

A noisy drama ensued outside the office for hours as the crowd also kept cheering and shouting slogans until late hours.

It is learnt that the Congress observers also held one-on-one consultations with MLAs to know their views on the CM post contenders.

Around 9.30 pm, the news came out about MLAs adopting a single line resolution authorising the party high command to name the Chief Minister as there was no consensus on a single name.

Party in-charge Rajeev Shukla confirmed the adoption of the resolution. He said all 40 newly elected MLAs were present in the meeting when the resolution was moved.

Among those whose names have cropped up for the Chief Ministerial post besides Pratibha Singh, included leader of opposition Mukesh Agnihotri and former PCC chief Sukhwinder Singh Sukhu. A small group of MLAs also backed former minister Sudhir Sharma, say insiders.

Earlier in the day, Pratibha Singh spoke to mediaperons asserting that the political legacy of her husband, Virbhadra Singh, can’t be ignored.

“Virbhadra Singh ji's legacy cannot be ignored in Himachal because it was with his name that we fought the election. We brought forward the 'Virbhadra Model' and I think this was the main reason people of the state voted for the party," she said.

Sukhu, when asked about his claim for the CM’s post said "He is an MLA. So are other MLAs. We got a massive public mandate. It’s upto the party high command to take a call as to who should be the Chief Minister. One should have trust in the party leadership.”