Ending almost a week long suspense in Himachal Pradesh,the congress today appointed former Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh as PCC president replacing incumbent party chief Kaul Singh Thakur in the run of to the Assembly elections.
Himachal Pradesh goes to the polls in next three months time and the congress,till now ,had remained completely torn into factions with Virbhadra Singh having sometime back almost threatened to leave the party,if he was not given a proper place in the state,or given a free hand to lead the campaign .
AICC General secretary Birender Singhwho is incharge of the party affairs in Himachal Pradesh confirmed that five-time chief Minister Virbhadra Singh has been given the high command as the Congress felt the change would give some gains to the party in the BJP-ruled state.
Formal orders to this effect will come in the evening later but this is now confirmed that Virbhadra Singh is take over as state congress chief ,he told the Indian Express over .
The move is also seen as an attempt to placate 78-year old Congress leaderwho had been demonstrating is strength often to ensure that he remains as a potential Chief Ministerial post contender in the state,which he has dominated the politics for over 50 years,beside being a Union Minister and PCC president twice earlier.
Singh had resigned from the union cabinet only sometime back after a Shimla court had framed charges of corruption against him and his wife Pratibha Singh,a former MP,in controversial audio-CD case registered against him in 2009 by the BJP government.
Sources said Kaul Singh Thakur,who has been replaced by the party to mollify Virbhadra Singh is being made leader of the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) after the monsoon session ,which begins tomorrow.Thakur had been heading the congress eversince the party had lost power in 2007 and infact also remained a target of Virbhadra Singh .Thakur is also a chief Minister post contender in the state much to the annoyance of his estranged mentor Virbhadra Singh.
The incumbent CLP leader Vidya Stokes,also a Chief Minister post claimant,will resign few days later to get accommodated as member of the Congress working Committee (CWC) as she is understood to have turned down offer to become Governor —a post offered to her for making place for Kaul Singh Thakur.
Said Birender Singh the new CLP leader will be elected after the session as there are few formalities,including its information to be given to the Speaker of the assembly.Its a brief three-four days session and that thing will be done later as the session is starting tomorrow
About Stokes he said she will get some proper place matching her status .She will also be fighting the elections.
Union Minister for Commerce and Industry Anand Sharma–a staunch Virbhadra Singh rival,has already been made as Chairman of the party’s manifesto committee and may also replace Singh as head of the campaign committee,say party sources in Delhi