Warring Congress factions in Himachal Pradesh refuse to budge even after losing power in the hill state in 2017 Assembly polls.
While former Chief Minister, Virbhadra Singh fired a salvo against Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) chief, Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu at Hamirpur on Monday, holding that Sukhu had weakened the party and was responsible for the Congress debacle in polls.
It was Sukhu’s turn on Tuesday to pay him back in the same coin. Sukhu said governance is a big issue in polls and people vote on the government’s work, than why blame party organisation for defeat.
Sukhu asked Singh whether ‘Gudia’ gangrape and murder and Hoshiar Singh’s mysterious death cases were not a blot on previous Congress government’s image.
“Virbhadra Singh is a respected leader, but he speaks lies. He remained CM for six times, but Congress party has never repeated under his leadership.
He has just been strengthening self while in power,” Sukhu said in a release here. The state Congress president questioned Singh as to why Congress could not repeat power in 2017 even after the party high command declared him Chief Ministerial face to lead the party in polls.
The PCC chief said in 2017 polls, 56 tickets were distributed at the instance of Singh, out of which only 15 Congress candidates won. “Only 12 tickets went to party organisation’s quota, six of them won.”
Sukhu said it had become a history of Himachal that whenever, Singh became CM, Congress lost power after that.
He alleged that Singh has a habit of opposing others, whether former CM, late Thakur Ram Lal, former ministers, Vidya Stokes and Kaul Singh Thakur, former Union minister, Anand Sharma or he (Sukhu) himself.
He said many leaders left the party because of his ego. Sukhu said Congress lost all the 10 seats in Mandi district because Singh had humiliated former Union minister Sukh Ram and his son, Anil Sharma in their home ahead of polls.
On Monday, Virbhadra Singh (who is not even the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) this time had categorically told mediapersons that it was unfortunate that the command of Congress party was in the hands of people, who do not have a mass base at the grassroots.
“If the state Congress president is not changed, the party would meet the same fate in 2019 Lok Sabha polls,” he said, adding that he would refrain from canvassing in Lok Sabha elections if the present set up of the party organisation is not changed.
Sukhu, however, said he had strengthened the party organisation in his tenure by taking everyone along.
“The Congress would give a tough fight to the BJP in Lok Sabha polls on all the four seats in Himachal Pradesh,” he said.