On the road to victory in Himachal Pradesh, the Congress party is now taking careful steps to ensure that its supporters are united. Party watcher Rajeev Shukla told reporters the MLA could be moved to Chandigarh, 90 kilometers away, “for convenience,” and said the BJP would be expected to win if Congress surpassed 40, or a five-member majority in a 68-member assembly. Poaching attempts will not be successful.
On who will be chief minister, Mr Shukla took the familiar parliamentary line: “The high command will decide after discussions with the MLA.”
There are three obvious contenders – state department head Pratibha Singh, current opposition leader Sukhvinder Sukhu and Mukesh Agnihotri – which is why the party fears the BJP’s “Operation Lotus”, which is PM Narendra Modi’s party getting the MLA to change allegiances To overthrow the opposition’s code-named ‘government. Congress encountered this not so long ago in Madhya Pradesh.
If the gap remains narrow, the MLA could be taken to Rajasthan or Chhattisgarh, the only two states with a chief minister in Congress, after the Chandigarh pit stop, sources said.
So far, Mr Shukla has said MLA meetings may be called in Chandigarh “because people from all districts can easily get there”.
“We may also call them to Shimla. We will make a decision in the evening,” he said in Delhi before heading to Shimla. Two other observers – Chhattisgarh chief minister Bhupesh Baghel and Haryana state leader Bhupinder Hooda – are also arriving in the Himachal Pradesh capital.
Many of the winning candidates have already started traveling to Pratibha Singh’s home in Shimla. Congress chief Tajinder Singh Bittu said earlier today, “We will bring our leaders to Chandigarh and close our doors and windows because the BJP will try to poach them, as they have done many times in the past.”
Bhupesh Baghel answered a question on the matter in Chhattisgarh before heading to Himachal Pradesh: “I am going to Himachal Pradesh because I am a party observer there. We will not send them (MLA) Brought here. But we have to make sure our people are united. The BJP can do whatever it takes.”
Himachal Pradesh is crucial to give Congress some confidence as it lost hard today in Prime Minister Modi’s home state of Gujarat.
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