99% Congress men in HP will unite on my call,says Virbhadra

A day after he was formally named as the Himachal Pradesh Congress chief,former chief minister Virbhadra Singh said he would contest the upcoming Assembly elections and put up a united fight against BJP,notwithstanding the factionalism within.

Written by Press Trust Of India | New Delhi | Published: August 29, 2012 1:39 am

A day after he was formally named as the Himachal Pradesh Congress chief,former chief minister Virbhadra Singh said he would contest the upcoming Assembly elections and put up a united fight against BJP,notwithstanding the factionalism within. He also did not rule out his case for Chief Ministership.

“My priority is to fight the BJP and oust them from power as it has been the most corrupt government in North India,” the 78-year-old five-time chief minister,who has never lost an election,told PTI in an interview.

Admitting to factionalism in the Congress,Singh said it was not new to the state even though he admitted that it had never been so strong in the past.

“In any party,some sort of factionalism exists. Himachal also has been plagued by it for decades but it has never been so strong as to disrupt the functioning of the party,” he said.

He said that his “first job will be to put an end to the entire factionalism and present the party as one and unitedly fight the BJP.” The former Union minister expressed hope that a majority of the party leaders would respond positively to his call for unity.

“At least 99 per cent of the party will give a positive response (to my call for unity). I can’t say about one per cent but that does not matter,” he said.

Charging the BJP government in Himachal with being “corrupt”,Virbhadra said,“I request President Pranab Mukherjee to hand over the chargesheet presented to him by the state Congress against the Prem Kumar Dhumal government to the Home Ministry for a CBI probe.”

To a question on whether this would not be considered as vendetta politics,he said,“no not at all. We will hand over all cases of corruption by the BJP to CBI so that Himachal agencies will not be in the picture.”

On his contesting assembly elections,he said “yes,I will contest the assembly elections. I have not earmarked a new constituency.”

Explaining why he wanted to contest the assembly polls even when he was a Lok Sabha MP,he said “then only my campaign will be serious. Then people will think that I am serious about what I am saying as my personal stake will also be there. Otherwise,many people may think that I am a campaigner from outside.”

Asked if he was a contender for Chief Ministership,he said “that will follow…I can’t say right now”.

He,however,said a final decision on this would be taken by the Congress President. He added that this would not be his last election.

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