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Home India Himachal: Hectic lobbying for CM's post ahead of MLAs' meet | India

Himachal: Hectic lobbying for CM’s post ahead of MLAs’ meet | India

Shimla: Congress observers met Himachal Pradesh Governor Rajendra Vishwanath Arlekar on Friday, shared a list of the party’s winning MLAs and “sought time” to formally stake claim to form the government, as the party saw hectic lobbying for the chief minister’s post.

With the new MLAs slated to meet later in the evening, Pratibha Singh, Congress MP and the wife of former chief minister Virbhadra Singh, indicated that she is in the running for the top job. Some Congress workers raised slogans in support of Singh, who is also the state party chief.

Former state chief of the party Sukhwinder Singh Sukhu and outgoing legislature party leader Mukesh Agnihotri are also believed to among the frontrunners for the chief minister’s post.

The Congress wrested power from the BJP in the hill state winning 40 of the 68 assembly seats.

The polling was held on November 12 and the results were declared Thursday.

At the MLAs’ meeting, they are expected to pass a resolution authorising the party president to pick the legislature party leader who will be the next chief minister.

The Congress observers — Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel and former chief minister of Haryana Bhupinder Singh Hooda — and AICC in-charge for Himachal Pradesh Rajeev Shukla met the governor and submitted a list of the party’s winning candidates.

Senior Haryana Congress leader Karan Singh Dalal, who was part of the Congress delegation which met the governor, told PTI that they gave the list and told him, “We have come to seek your time to present our credentials to form government in the state. The party has won the assembly polls with a majority.”

Before the observers went to meet the governor, their vehicle was surrounded for a few minutes by the supporters of state Congress chief Pratibha Singh near a hotel.

The supporters raised slogans saying that the chief minister should be from the family of Virbhadra Singh. Similar sloganeering was witnessed outside the Congress office.

Congress leaders said the new MLAs’ meeting will be held in the evening and adequate time has been given to legislators to reach Shimla from far-off places.

Earlier, the Congress observers and Shukla met Pratibha Singh at a hotel.

Pratibha Singh, 66, has indicated that she is in the running for the chief minister’s post, a point also made by her son.

“I am not in the race for the top post but my mother is one of the contenders for the post of chief minister,” her son and Congress MLA from Shimla Rural Vikramaditya Singh told PTI.

“A meeting of all winning MLAs has been convened and the final decision would be taken by the high command which would be acceptable to all,” he added.

Vikramaditya Singh told reporters here that “collective will of MLAs will be kept in mind and then observers will convey the same to the high command”.

Replying to a question, Singh said, “Whatever the high command decides will be acceptable to all of us.”

“Post is not important for us. What is important is the promises we made to people. We have to fulfil them and we are committed to that,” he said.

He said the government will be formed in two-three days.

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.