Himachal family affair: CM’s son to contest Youth Cong polls

Another political scion is attempting to wade his way to power in Himachal Pradesh; he could not have picked a better time

Shimla | Updated: April 8, 2014 3:15:33 pm

Another political scion is attempting to wade his way to power in Himachal Pradesh; he could not have picked a better time. Firmly in the saddle after leading the Congress to victory and having got his wife,Pratibha Singh,elected to the Lok Sabha by a record margin,Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh can now oversee his son,Vikramaditya Singh’s,second shot at politics.

With the Youth Congress polls slated for November 2013,Vikramaditya is eyeing the president post. The 24-year-old was elected as the Youth Congress president in 2011 but his election was set aside by the Foundation for Advance Management of Elections (FAME),an independent agency engaged by AICC vice-president Rahul Gandhi to oversee the elections.

He was accused of model code violations and was debarred from contesting the re-poll that was won by Monica Bharti,wife of sitting MLA Neeraj Bharti — who is now a Chief Parliamentary Secretary. Monica’s term ends this November and the election schedule for the State Youth Congress office bearers has already been announced. The party has also launched a booth-level membership drive.

Vikramaditya Singh,who campaigned aggressively for his father in the December 2012 Assembly polls,is not leaving much to chance. He has convened a meeting of the Youth Congress office-bearers at Mandi on September 7 to seek their endorsement for his candidature as the next youth Congress president.

“I have checked-up with the Indian Youth Congress (IYC) and FAME,there is no ban on me contesting the elections. Let me gauge the general mood of the Youth Congress workers and office bearers at the Mandi meeting. I will make-up my mind and then take the plunge,” he told The Indian Express over phone.

He already has the backing of the incumbent Youth Congress president. “All office-bearers from the Assembly constituencies,four Lok Sabha seats and other parts of the state will be at the meeting. It will be a good opportunity to get a general view as to what the youth leaders feel about Vikramaditya Singh. To me,his is a guiding force and I was only standing in for him after his election was set aside in 2011,” Monica Bharti said.

While almost ruling herself out of the race,she makes it clear on who she thinks is better suited for the post. “It’s going to be between me and Vikramaditya Singh. He is more suited to the post and its responsibilities. He has campaigned extensively,travelled the state and has been in contact with the youth and Congress workers,” Bharti added.

His rise comes in the wake of BJP MP Anurag Thakur leaving his mark on the political map. Thakur is the son of former chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal. A product of Shimla’s famous Bishop Cotton School,Vikramaditya is currently a student of Delhi University. A prominent national-level shooter,he won a bronze at a trap shooting competition in 2007.

Ashwani Sharma

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