Virbhadra Singh may contest from Mandi

Former chief minister Virbhadra Singh is all set to enter the electoral fray from Mandi Parliamentary constituency,a seat currently represented by his wife Pratibha Singh,who is reluctant to seek a re-entry to the Lok Sabha.

Written by Express News Service | Shimla | Published:January 10, 2009 1:32 am

Former chief minister Virbhadra Singh is all set to enter the electoral fray from Mandi Parliamentary constituency,a seat currently represented by his wife Pratibha Singh,who is reluctant to seek a re-entry to the Lok Sabha.

There are chances of Virbhadra Singh shifting to national politics for the time being or till the next Assembly elections in Himachal Pradesh in 2012. In case the Congress fields Virbhadra Singh from Mandi,his wife may step into his shoes and contest from Rohru Assembly constituency.

State Congress president Kaul Singh Thakur today admitted that Virbhadra could be the candidate from Mandi and said his entry would turn the tables on the BJP on all four LS seats in Himachal Pradesh in the run-up to the polls.

Thakur told mediapersons at the Congress office here that veteran Congress leader Sukhram has also shown an interest to contest from Mandi — his home turf and constituency where he wielded considerable influence to become the Union Telecom minister in the Nineties.

Thakur claimed that BJP’s popularity graph has already crashed in the state during the past one year and several BJP leaders had been finding fault with Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal’s style of working and “anti-people” policies. “The government is taking credit for what the Congress has done or for the schemes started by the earlier government. On its own,the government has alienated the people and resorted to political victimisation,” Thakur said.

He pointed out that several schemes started by the Congress government have been renamed after Deen Dayal Upadhaya and Atal Bihari Vajpayee to give an impression that these were BJP’s creations.

Thakur also opposed any move to dilute the provisions of Section 118 of the HP Tenancy and Land Reforms Act,which,he feared,will open floodgates for industrial giants and businessmen from outside to buy land in Himachal.

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