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Gaurav Bisht, Hindustan Times
Shimla, January 01, 2013
In keeping with the "one man one post" principle, chief minister Virbhadra Singh on Tuesday resigned from the post of the Himachal Pradesh Congress Committee president.
Virbhadra had taken over the reins of the party just before the assembly elections were announced. Virbhadra had sent his resignation to the party high command, All India Congress Committee general secretary Chaudhary Birender Singh told Hindustan Times.

Virbhadra, after assuming the office of chief minister, had announced to quit the organisational post. Virbhadra took over reigns of the party at time when it was grappling with intra-party squabbles that had almost diminished the hopes of its returning to power. He took over as party president from Kaul Singh Thakur and led a spirited campaign in the state, leading the Congress to victory. 

The resignation will intensify the race for his successor as rival groups in the party are eyeing the coveted post. Virbhadra is reportedly keen to place his man at the top post.

Virbhadra loyalist Harsh Mahajan is being considered frontrunner for the post; the Virbhadra camp is also projecting the name of former assembly speaker Gangu Ram who had lost the election this time.

To maintain the regional balance, there is possibility that Virbhadra might put forward the name of loyalist Chander Kumar from Kangra. Another Virbhadra loyalist and former forest minister Ram Lal is also reportedly keen to become the party president.

On the other hand, the rival faction sees AICC general secretary Asha Kumar as the obvious choice for the post. Asha Kumar is reportedly using her clout in New Delhi to get the plum post. The name of former Rajya Sabha member Viplove Thakur is also doing the rounds.

A section of the party leaders is keen on the name of former legislator Harshwardhan Chauhan, who is known for his organisational skills.