Big session of Himachal Congress today – Flying Journals

Himachal: Pratibha Singh is a member of the Lok Sabha and belongs to the former royal family.


After winning Himachal Pradesh, Congress today convened its MLA meeting for the next challenge – deciding on the chief minister. It won’t be easy; Congress has at least four candidates to choose from.

The meeting will take place at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Shimla at 3pm.

The frontrunner is Himachal Pradesh Congress chief Prati Basingh, wife of Virbha Rah Singh, who was the top leader in Capitol Hill until his death last year.

Pratibha Singh is a Lok Sabha MP from Mandi and belongs to the former royal family. She did not run in elections but effectively led the Congress Party campaign. She claims to have the support of a Congress MLA loyal to her husband, Virbhadra Singh, who has led the party in Himachal Pradesh for more than 30 years.

Her son Vikramaditya Singh, who stood for election and won in rural Shimla, told NDTV yesterday: “As a son, I want Pratibha ji to take great responsibility. Besides being a son, I am also a responsible party leader. We Will respect any decision of the party. I believe the party will consider the needs of the people.”

“We have to follow the path shown by Virbhadra ji. The government will work on ‘Virbhadra Singh vikas model’. He must be smiling in heaven today,” he added.

Besides her there are three other contenders – former governor Sukhwinder Singh Sukhu, outgoing Congress Legislative Party leader Mukesh Agnihotri and Harshwardhan Chauhan – which is why the party fears the BJP’s “Operation Lotus”, which is the prime minister’s The code-name of Narendra Modi’s party had the MLA switch allegiances to overthrow the opposition government.

Mukesh Agnihotri believes he deserves the top job because he has forcefully conveyed the party’s position in the state assembly.

There are other names in the mix. Former state assembly president Kuldeep Singh Rathore claims he has held the deeply divided party together over the past few years.

Pratibha Singh replaced Mr Rathore a few months ago.

Several Congress leaders are said to have contested the election in the hope that they will be elected chief ministers. They even used this in their constituency campaigns.

Numerous “chief ministers” in Congress have been ridiculed by BJP leaders such as Union Home Minister Amit Shah.

Amid Congress worries of the race getting bitter, leaders had considered ringfencing the newly elected MLAs by moving them to Chandigarh or Raipur. The plan was shelved after the party won a supermajority.

The Congress Party won 40 of 68 seats, five more than the majority, and the BJP 25. At present, the Congress Party believes that the BJP’s poaching attempts will not succeed.

Rajeev Shukla, Head of Himachal Pradesh Assembly, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel and Senior Leader Bhupinder Hooda will attend the meeting in Shimla.

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