Putting at rest all speculations, All India Congress Committee (AICC) General Secretary and party incharge for Himachal Pradesh, Sushil Kumar Shinde on Friday made it clear that the Congress party will go to assembly polls in HP with ‘collective leadership’. 

He said there will be no change in leadership in the party organisation or the government.  

“We decide on the issues as per situation. In HP, we will fight the elections collectively and decide the leader later,” he told media persons, on being asked about the chief ministerial face for the polls.

Accompanied by AICC secretary, Ranjit Ranjan, Shinde, who had a round of meetings with Pradesh Congress Committee office bearers, the Congress Legislature Party (CLP), sought to iron out differences within the party over the last two days.

Party sources, although lack of co-ordination between the government and the party came out clearly before him, Shinde remained cool and composed and maintained a balance of sorts.

“Introspection has gone into it. There is no wall left now and the people, who were responsible for it, will be kept aside,” he said.

With chief minister, Virbhadra Singh and PCC chief, Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu, sitting on his sides, the former Union minister said, “I have told PCC chief, to meet the CM once a week to brief him about party activities. The CM will also come to party office and sit with the PCC chief for elective planning,” Shinde said.

He said that the government had done unprecedented development this time, and both, the government and party want to work together.

Asked about bitterness that cropped up in CLP meeting, with certain Congress MLAs targeting a minister for interference, amid allegations that some Congress leaders were siding with Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Shinde said there were some suspicions, which have been cleared.

The party incharge said the Congress was not in a hurry on ticket distribution for the ensuing polls. “I am visiting different districts, including tribal areas, of from 16 to 20 August and will work on it later. We will consider young faces for ticket, but those who are socially active and enjoy good image,” he said.

He was, however, non committal on Congress party’s norm on ‘One Family One Ticket’ norm in the polls and said, “The criteria differ from state to state. It can’t be decided in one meeting. There is still time to go,” he said.

Shinde did not take much objection to the slogan shouting against Sukhu on his arrival in Shimla on Wednesday. “It happens in the Congress party. The workers are leaders are spirited. They quarrel and then come together for the party’s cause. We are not like the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which throws out the party leaders,” he said.