Sulking Virbhadra not to leave Congress; Attacks state party leaders

Shimla: Virbhadra Singh today ruled out quitting the Congress party but attacked the state party leadership and termed them as B team of Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal.

Virbhadra Singh named PCC president Kaul Singh Thakur, Asha Kumari and GS Bali and said they were working for the interests of BJP in the state.

Virbhadra said he was not sure if the state party leadership could win assembly elections and asked them to read the writing on the wall which otherwise would be suicidal for the Congress in the state. He said he would bring the shortcomings to the notice of Congress president so that timely action could be taken.

He said he would not leave the party presently to which he had served for over 50 years. “I am still a loyal worker. In case things don’t change, I would take excuse from the public and prefer to retire from politics,” he said.

Virbhadra was in Shimla to have a strategy meeting with his supporters which was attended by 13 MLAs.

The restlessness in Virbhadra Singh camp is because they fear the Uttrakhand formula may be repeated in Himachal Pradesh where sitting MP Vijay Bahuguna was appointed chief minister by the Congress. They fear Anand Sharma may become Chief Minister in similar fashion should the Congress win assembly elections.

Meanwhile toughening it’s stand on Virbhadra issue AICC General Secretary Birender Singh had yesterday in a statement made it clear that Congress high command would not project any leader as the chief ministerial candidate.

Making light of reports of a possible revolt by Virbhadra, he said the party high command does not mind any leader trying to press the claims for his supporters. The party General Secretary ruled out inclusion of Virbhadra Singh in the AICC screening committee for Himachal Pradesh.

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