In a major blow to the Congress ahead of Assembly elections in Himachal Pradesh,former chief minister Virbhadra Singh on Thursday resigned as the chairman of the partys campaign committee.
Sources in the party said Singh has conveyed to AICC general secretary Birender Singh that he will not be attending Fridays campaign strategy meeting at Shimla and has also decided to relieve himself of the charge of the campaign committee.
Singh,who resigned from the Union Cabinet after charges were framed against him in a corruption case,was made the chairman of the Congress campaign committee for Himachal Pradesh on July 16. The committee was approved by party chief Sonia Gandhi. Besides Singh,others in the campaign committee included senior leaders Anand Sharma,Vidya Strokes,Kaul Singh Thakur and Viplov Thakur.
A close aide of Singh told The Indian Express that Singh is extremely unhappy over the formation of the campaign committee without consulting him.
It is better not to head such a committee,which has no leader who can back Singh in bringing the Congress back to power in Himachal Pradesh. Why should he take the blame if the Congress eventually loses the poll,which (as things stand) will happen, he said.
However,reports say that some AICC leaders and the party high command was making efforts to persuade Singh not to quit the panel at this crucial stage as it will send wrong signals among the masses.
A senior AICC leader,requesting anonymity,said that everything was well. Reports about Virbhadra Singhs resignation are mere speculations. He is a senior leader and will not create any crisis for the party ahead of the polls, he said.
Meanwhile,sources said that Singh,who had also stayed away from the manifesto committee meeting held under the leadership of union minister minister Anand Sharma at Delhi on Monday,had also met Sonia and conveyed his displeasure over the way the campaign committee was formed.