Facing political oblivion,he had made a conscious decision to bury the hatchet with Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh by rejoining Congress in the run-up to the 2012 Assembly elections in Himachal Pradesh. Now,former Congress minister Major (retd) Vijai Singh Mankotia is being tipped for an advisory role by heading a key government PSU or a board.
According to sources,Mankotia figures among the names which Virbhadra had proposed for appointment as chairmen and vice-chairmen for PSUs and boards. Mankotia reportedly was offered the post of chairman of HP State Tourism Advisory Board,which Virbhadra proposes to revive for promotion of tourism.
When contacted,however,Mankotia said: I am absolutely unaware of any such move. In fact,I have no contact whatsoever with the chief minister on the subject.
In 2007,Mankotia was suspended after he had released a controversial audio CD purportedly containing the voices of the then chief minister Virbhadra,his wife Pratibha Singh and IAS officer Mohinder Lal and some industrialists discussing monetary transactions. He had contested on BSPs ticket from Dharamsala in 2007 but lost.
He was,however,readmitted in the Congress before the 2012 Assembly elections and given the party ticket from Shahpur in Kangra. But he lost the election.
Meanwhile,Virbhadra,who returned from New Delhi on Sunday morning,has asked for AICC general secretary Ambika Sonis intervention to get the issue relating to appointments of heads of PSUs resolved. During his meeting with Soni,which state party chief Sukhwinder Singh Sukhu also attended,no final decision could be taken on the posts. In fact,four names cleared by the party high command are still on hold as Virbhadra is eager to see his loyalists being appointed to the posts.
When contacted,Sukhu,however,said: Appointment of chairmen and vice-chairmen is an issue between the chief minister and high command,I am only concerned with party matters. A few people have been left out of the PCC executive and office bearers. They include former MLA Kush Parmar,former minister Rangila Ram Rao and cabinet minister Prakash Chaudhry. They will be included in the expanded list but the PCC list released by the high command will not be changed in the whole.