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Cong to hold meeting of newly-elected MLAs in Shimla

Shimla: The Congress, which wrested power from the BJP in Himachal Pradesh, has convened a meeting of all its newly-elected MLAs here on Friday and the meet is likely to pass a resolution authorising the Congress president to pick the CLP leader.

The Congress on Thursday won 40 seats in the 68-member Assembly in the hill state which maintained its tradition of not voting any incumbent government to power since 1985.

Leader of the opposition Mukesh Agnihotri said that a meeting would be held in Shimla on Friday.

Deciding on the chief ministerial face who can bind the party going forward is the immediate challenge for Congress.

State party president Pratibha Singh is considered a key frontrunner for the chief minister’s post, closely followed by former party chief Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu and outgoing CLP leader Mukesh Agnihotri.

AICC in-charge of Himachal Pradesh Rajeev Shukla had on Thursday said the Congress was happy that it is getting an opportunity to form the government in the state and asserted that the party will do everything to fulfil the 10 guarantees made to the people of the state and would provide better governance to people.

“The newly-elected Congress MLAs would meet in Shimla on Friday post-election results and decide on electing the new legislature party leader,” Shukla had told PTI on Thursday.

Sources said the MLAs are likely to pass a one-line resolution authorising Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge to decide the CLP leader. This has been the tradition in the Congress party, they said.

The party’s two observers — Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel and senior leader from Haryana Bhupinder Singh Hooda– along with Shukla are arriving in the state capital where all the party MLAs have been called.

While Shukla is AICC in charge of Himachal Pradesh, Baghel was appointed senior observer for the polls.

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