Congress mulling naming Virbhadra Himachal unit chiefAugust 24th, 2012 - 12:44 am ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Aug 23 (IANS) Congress’ central leadership is contemplating appointing former chief minister Virbhadra Singh as new president of party’s unit Himachal Pradesh to boost party’s preparations for the forthcoming assembly polls, party sources said.
The sources said that there was movement towards appointing him as Pradesh Congress chief Thursday but no announcement was made by the party.
“An announcement was expected this evening but it has not been made so far. Till formal announcement is made, there remains uncertainty (about his appointment),” a senior party leader told IANS.
The leader added that an announcement could be made Friday along with appointments to some other state units.
Virbhadra Singh, who met Congress president Sonia Gandhi twice Tuesday, has been sulking for the past few weeks over the composition of some election related panels for the state.
He has also been pressing for a strong say in distribution of tickets.
Himachal Pradesh is scheduled to go to polls by December this year.
Sources said there had been contact between Virbhadra Singh and Nationalist Congress Party leaders and the move was used by his supporters to send signals to Congress leadership.
They said Congress leadership is keen on enthusiastic participation of Virbhadra Singh in the campaign due to his popularity as a five time state chief minister and his mass support. There is apprehension in the party circles that a sulking Singh could damage Congress’ prospects.
The septuagenarian leader is also seen in party circles as the leader with maximum potential to attract crowds in the state.
After he conveyed his unhappiness over composition of some election-related panels, the party leadership has been talking to him to remove his grievances.
Virbhadra Singh’s supporters had first raised the demand of appointing a working president but later demanded that he should be made party chief, replacing Kaul Singh, a former state minister, who has backing of union Commerce Minister Anand Sharma.
Virbhadra Singh had resigned as micro, small and medium enterprises minister June 26 in the wake of a Shimla court order in a 23-year-old corruption case.
Party sources said that factionalism in the state unit is unlikely to end with Virbhadra Singh’s appointment.
They said if appointed, he will become a member of the screening committee which has a strong say in ticket distribution.
- Virbhadra as chief to end Himachal Congress confusion (News Analysis) - Aug 26, 2012
- Suspense over Virbhadra as Himachal Congress chief - Aug 25, 2012
- Virbhadra Singh appointed Congress' Himachal chief - Aug 29, 2012
- Virbhadra Singh is Himachal Congress chief - Aug 26, 2012
- Congress tries to mollify sulking Virbhadra - Jul 27, 2012
- Congress assures sulking Virbhadra of larger say in candidate selection (Lead) - Jul 28, 2012
- Virbhadra Singh meets Sonia, supporters - Aug 22, 2012
- Anxiety in BJP over move to make Virbhadra Himachal Congress chief (Himachal Pradesh Newsletter) - Aug 25, 2012
- Congress appoints Virbhadra campaign committee chief for Himachal elections - Jul 17, 2012
- BJP united, Congress divided ahead of polls (Himachal Pradesh Newsletter) - Jul 28, 2012
- Sonia rallies in Himachal in September - Aug 29, 2012
- Virbhadra determined to steer assembly poll (Himachal Pradesh Newsletter) - Aug 03, 2012
- Virbhadra faces graft charge; says will resign if asked to (Roundup) - Jun 26, 2012
- Virbhadra to head Congress' Himachal poll campaign - Jun 30, 2012
- Himachal Congress tries to put house in order (Himachal Pradesh Newsletter) - Apr 28, 2012
Tags: assembly polls, central leadership, chief minister, congress chief, congress leadership, congress president sonia gandhi, enthusiastic participation, formal announcement, forthcoming assembly, kaul, mass support, nationalist congress party, party chief, party circles, party leadership, septuagenarian, state chief, state minister, time state, unit chief