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Younger face to head Congress Legislature Party in HP

Archana Phull | Shimla |

After Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the Congress party in Himachal Pradesh (HP) has picked up a younger face, Mukesh Agnihotri (55) to head Congress Legislature Party (CLP) with six-time former CM octogenarian, Virbhadra Singh also a member.

A former journalist, Agnihotri had switched to politics in 2003 and has won four Assembly elections in a row since then from Haroli segment in Una. He was Industries and Parliamentary Affairs minister in the previous Congress government.

“I will put in my best in the new role,” Agnihotri said.

Congress insiders said he got the support of Virbhadra Singh and majority MLAs, following which the party high command declared his name as the CLP leader.

It is for the first time that the CLP is headed by a leader from merged area. All as Congress CMs and CLP leaders have so far come from old HP.

Agnihtori will give a fresh look to the CLP with 21 MLAs to match young BJP Chief Minister, Jai Ram Thakur, 53, who was elevated to the top post after party’s CM face, Prem Kumar Dhumal, 73, lost the Assembly poll.

Even for Congress, the change of CLP leadership is seen as a generation and regional shift. The party has 21 MLAs in the Assembly of 68 members.