With the current political and organisational developments in Himachal Pradesh, Congress president Sonia Gandhi met Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh on Thursday. Virbhadra has told Sonia that he would not take the party into the assembly elections under the leadership of the present state party president Sukhwinder Singh Sukhu, as reported by the Indian Express. The leaders discussed about the issues related to the ongoing tussle between the veteran CM and Sukhu, and the lack of coordination between the two. As per the report, Singh wants Sukhu replaced before the elections. The party sources said that the game of one-upmanship could hamper the party’s election efforts and ruin its chances in upcoming assembly election which is scheduled to be held later this year.
The six-time CM wants a free hand in the polls, the Indian Express reported. He has the support of as many as 27 MLAs and he told MLAs loyal to him that he will neither contest the elections nor lead the party into the elections. Meanwhile it has not been yet clear whether Sonia has given him any assurance or not, sources said.
Meanwhile, amid the reports of a rift in the Congress Bihar unit, Sonia also met Bihar Congress chief Ashok Choudhary and legislative party leader Sadanand Singh yesterday. The meeting came against the backdrop of reports that some of the MLAs in Bihar could switch sides. However, Choudhary told Congress Chief that ‘the party was united’ in the state, reported IANS. The meeting was attended by senior party leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad, Ahmed Patel and CP Joshi. The senior leaders, also told the Indian Express that there is no immediate threat of MLAs leaving the party, pointing out that those switching sides would face disqualification.