Congress Puts Up Show of Strength to Keep Its Flock Together Ahead of Year-End Himachal Pradesh Polls


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With barely eight months left for the Himachal Pradesh assembly election, the state Congress has tried to shed its image of a “unit in tatters” with a show of strength on Thursday marshalled by its newly elected chief Pratibha Singh who is banking on the legacy of her husband and former Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh.

The much-awaited show of strength took place a few days after Pratibha told the News18 that she would bring all warring factions on board and give a tough challenge to the BJP. She had also said that she would sit with all senior leaders of the party and formalise a strategy to take on the Jairam Thakur-led BJP government. Elections are due in the hill state this year.

The show of unity was in the presence of Congress Working Committee (CWC) member and Himachal Pradesh in charge Rajeev Shukla. Outgoing state party president Kuldeep Rathore, Chairman of Election Campaign Committee Sukhwinder Singh Sukhu, Congress Legislative Party leader Mukesh Agnihotri and all party MLAs and office bearers attended the rally for Pratibha.

Co-in charge Sanjay Dutt, Gukirat Singh Kotli and Tejinder Pal Singh Bittu were also present in the event. The four working presidents, Harsh Mahajan, Rajinder Rana, Pawan Kajal and Vinay Kumar appointed in the revamped state unit were also in attendance.

Congress leader Vikramaditya Singh, who was also present, said, “The people of the state have made up their mind for a change in this state and they will vote for the kind of work and governance that they had seen during the time of former CM Virbhadra Singh.” He denied factionalism in the Congress, and said the party would work as one unit and ensure victory in the upcoming polls.

The Himachal Congress has been witnessing infighting with groupism deterring party high command’s attempts to put up a strong challenge to the BJP. The party also faces a huge challenge with the emergence of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) as a key opponent to the present BJP government. It is not only trying to fight against the BJP but ensure that it is not relegated to the third place by AAP.

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