The Congress leadership has cleared Virbhadra Singh’s name for the Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh. He will be head the state record sixth times.
Virbhadra Singh, President of the Himachal Pradesh Congress Committee (HPCC), was named leader of the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) by AICC General Secretary Janardan Dwivedi after his appointment was approved by Sonia Gandhi.
Earlier, the CLP attended by 34 out of 36 Congress members, authorised Gandhi to appoint the CLP leader. Two legislators – former minister GS Bali and Ram Kumar Chaudhary – were not present. While Bali, who was admitted to the AIIMS Hospital in New Delhi, couldn’t reach Shimla, Chaudhary, who was booked in a murder case by Haryana Police, has been evading arrest. Dwivedi, who was the central observer, made the announcement after a four-hour-long meeting of the CLP.
It is learned that the resolution was moved by Virbhadra Singh, and seconded by Vidya Stokes and Kaul Singh. Now CLP leader will now further discuss (on the formation of the government) with the high command in Delhi.
Besides Dwivedi, Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, AICC secretary Anees Ahmed and party’s state in charge Birender Chaudhary attended the meeting as central observers.
After stung by the factionalism, Virbhadra Singh had taken command of Congress party of state in his hand and successfully spearheaded the Congress campaign in the 2012 Assembly election and helped party to regain absolute majority.
Congress stalwart Virbhadra Singh first took over the top post on April 8, 1983 and again became CM on March 5, 1985 after mid term polls. However after losing election in 1990, Singh again brought the party back in power and took over as CM for the third time on December 3, 1993.
The Congress emerged a single largest party in the hung assembly in 1998 and Singh was again sworn in as CM on March 5, 1998 but he failed to win the trust vote and resigned.
In 2003 polls, the Congress bounced back to power and Singh was again elected as leader of the CLP and assumed office of the CM on March 6,2003. Singh was elected to Assembly in December 2007 polls but the party failed to win majority. He contested the Lok Sabha polls in 2009 from Mandi and was inducted as cabinet minister in the Manmohan Singh government.