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In Dhumal’s bastion,Virbhadra puts Congress in election mode

Rally,a show of strength by Virbhadra,saw most party leaders hitting out at Anurag Thakur and BJP PM candidate Narendra Modi

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Firmly in the saddle with his government completing one year in office,the Chief Minister,Virbhadra Singh,today tried to put the Congress on poll mode. His prime target was the Lok Sabha MP from Hamirpur,Anurag Thakur,son of former chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal and Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) president.

The rally,which was a show of strength by Virbhadra in Dhumal’s home district — where the Congress did not fare well during last Assembly polls — saw most party leaders hit out at the BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi and also Anurag Thakur. Hamirpur has not returned a Congress candidate for two decades now.

The Modi factor was repeatedly mentioned at the rally apparently because of reports about BJP proposing his first rally in Himachal Pradesh at Sujanpur in Feburary 2014. Few even drew a parallel between Gujarat’s model of development and Virbhadra ‘s model in Himachal — a state with the best social parameters.

Cabinet ministers,MLAs and top PCC leaders were present at the rally. Independent MLAs,who are party’s ally in the Assembly,also shared the dais with Chief Minister. “Today’s turn-out at the rally is an indication of the things (Lok Sabha polls) in the offing for the BJP. It’s neither seen here nor will Modi be able to do any thing. It’s Virbhadra Singh,who will matter in Himachal Pradesh or Hamirpur,” declared Mukesh Agnihotri,minister for industry and Parliamentary affairs.

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Yet,it was Virbhadra Singh,who perhaps launched the fiercest attack against Dhumal and dared him to face the battle ground (polls),instead of resorting to back-stabbing and personalised attacks against him.

Responding to demands made by PCC president Sukhwinder Sukhu and former minister Ram Lal Thakur to probe all irregularities of the HPCA,Virbhadra Singh said Anurag Thakur and Dhumal have committed a biggest fraud on the people by changing the status of the HPCA from a registered society to a company registered at Kanpur.

First published on: 26-12-2013 at 01:09 IST
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