In the closing days of run-up before announcement of Lok Sabha polls Congress party in Himachal still seems to be plagued by its internal politics. Reasons are multiple but most recent that former Chief Minister Virbhdra Singh refused to contest election from Mandi constituency. The former CM though has pronounced number of times about his mass appeal and ability to win polls from any constituency of Himachal Pradesh. Yet him backing out could be a action to raise eyebrows of political analyzers.
The decision came after recent suggestion of former Congress president Sukhwinder Singh Sukhu and former state health minister Kaul Singh Thakur, that Virbhdra could be the likely winning candidate from Mandi constituency. Virbhdra versus Sukhu infighting has been public since years. Same goes with Kaul Singh, though under a snubbed tongue. Now both being from opposition wing of Virbhdra camp, could have played the former CM’s mind.
Party incharge in the state Rajni Patil had the official version. She said that the party is not in favour of fielding sitting MLAs or their children from a small state like Himachal Pradesh, as it could limit their option drastically. In a media statement she said soon a decision would be made on the candidature. So as of now Singh has very clearly refused.” I have contested many polls, and now I am not interested,” he said. “Irrespective of who our candidates are, we must work united to ensure party’s win, “stated Singh.
Though he has been clear in his thoughts but his loyalists in the party assume it to be part of game plan. They cite his earlier statement. “I am not interested to contest the election but might consider it if the Congress High Command wants me to do so,” had stated the senior stalwart politician. They assume that since Singh has been a seasoned politician and is yet evaluating the conditions on ground, before taking the bastion in his hand. They said that with infighting in Mandi BJP (Due to former telecom minister Sukhram’s entry) graphs are yet to settle. They assume the possibility of senior BJP leaders joining into Congress anytime soon. Perhaps then would be time, for Virbhdra to announce his candidature. Because if Congress party would make it to power in the Lok Sabha, Virbhdra is the only likely candidate to get a position in the ministry, which makes him the most favorable candidate from the seat.
Whereas, another cult of the party feels that since indications favoring his candidature have came through Sukhu. It must have given ‘Goosebumps’ and the former CM could have doubted under cutting. So to ensure unity in the party has announced his displeasure for contesting poll. Some senior party leaders though assume that Virbhdra is refusing to get his son on board. They say that end of it winning ability is the only factor to finalize a candidate. In lack of any other competitive candidate, perhaps the party might have to relax their fundamentals in this case, they presume.
Besides how the state Congress party is managing their show-up to the upcoming polls, the ruling BJP here is feeling comfortable. With very little skeptability of being bitten by infighting (as nothing has made it to public walls till date), gives them a clear lead on the opposition.