Factionalism within the state Congress has led to failure in deciding the party’s candidates for four parliamentary seats in Himachal Pradesh. For Mandi parliamentary, candidature of sitting MP Pratibha Singh is almost certain, but for three other segments, Congress has failed to reach consensus.
Party has divided into two prominent factions, one led by Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh and other led by state party president Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu and other dissidents of Chief Minister in state, and extensively lobbying in New Delhi for their candidates.
For Kangra Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh is favoring his close confident Chander Kumar, whereas other faction was lobbying for Union Culture Minister Chandresh Kumari Katoch, presently sitting MP from Rajasthan. Raghubir Singh Bali, youth congress leader, is also making round for party ticket.
From Shimla, Rohru first-time legislator Mohan Lal Brakta is the chief minister’s choice, whereas Vinod Sultanpuri, son of six-time MP K.D. Sultanpuri, is also in the race.
The state Congress is also visibly divided on party candidate for Hamirpur parliamentary, stronghold of BJP. Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh wanted BJP rebel Rajinder Singh Rana as party candidate, whereas state party president Sukhvidner Singh Sukhu pitching for the name of reluctant Industries Minister Mukesh Agnihotri.