LOBBYING HAS begun to elect former CM Virbhadra Singh as Congress Legislature Party leader ahead of Friday’s meeting convened here with the newly elected MLAs and a separate meeting of the party to be attended by AICC general secretary Sushil Kumar Shinde.
Virbhadra hosted a dinner for all the newly elected MLAs to reach an informal consensus on his name. This time, besides loyalists like Ram Lal Thakur, Asha Kumari, Sujan Singh Pathania, Harshvardan Chauhan, Mukesh Agnihotri, Nand Lal and Viney Kumar, Virbhadra also has his son Vikramaditya Singh as member.
Only three MLAs ,who were not practically in tune with him, are PCC president Sukhwinder Singh Sukhu, Lakhwinder Rana and Satpal Raizada. “We have 18 persons who can give in writing in chief minister’s favour to make him CLP leader. Some other names if he (CM) did not agree include Ram Lal Thakur and Asha Kumari,” said an MLA.
Some insiders say Sukhu was also a contender for the post of CLP leader . Congress has 21 MLAs in a House of 68. BJP has 44 members, Independents two and CPM one.