Virbhadra finally shares stage with arch rival Mankotia at Shahpur
After spitting venom against each other for almost half a decade, Himachal Pradesh Congress Committee (HPCC) chief Virbhadra Singh and Major Vijai Singh Mankotia, Congress nominee from Shahpur constituency, finally shared the stage.chandigarh Updated: Oct 17, 2012 21:18 IST
After spitting venom against each other for almost half a decade, Himachal Pradesh Congress Committee (HPCC) chief Virbhadra Singh and Major Vijai Singh Mankotia, Congress nominee from Shahpur constituency, finally shared the stage.
Virbhadra Singh, who was on a whirlwind tour to Kangra, addressed a rally at Shahpur on Tuesday. Though the leaders tried to put a united face of the party, but there were flutters among the party workers, as they felt the compromise between Mankotai and Virbhadra was led by political compulsion and both were a far apart personally.
"All this is a drama. How could they come together when so much has happened," said a party leader.
The chinks were more than visible as Singh, who was earlier at Dharamsala, said the decision was for the benefit of the party and the personal issues were not settled.
"I will fight the cases he has filed against me," said Singh, replying to the queries of mediapersons on their compromise.
Meanwhile, Singh was welcomed by Mankotia on the entry point to the Shahpur constituency near Gaggal airport in Kangra. A staunch supporter, Kewal Singh Pathania, who fell prey to the surprise compromise between the two arch rivals and was denied ticket, joined them at Rait near Shahpur.
Addressing the rally, Pathania said the Congress was like mother for him and Singh his ideal in politics.
"I could not disobey Virbhadra Singh ji. Getting party ticket and contesting elections is a secondary thing," said Pathania, adding that Mankotia was his elder brother and the Congress family at Shahpur was united.
Taking on Mankotia in a lighter vain, Pathania said last time the party had given ticket to him but Mankotia fielded his loyalist that led to the defeat of the Congress.
Mankotia, who addressed the rally after Pathania, heaped praises on Singh, saying that the veteran leader had shown a big heart by inviting him to re-join the party.
"When he could be so kind to me I assure him that public of Shahpur will be with him at every step," said Mankotia.
Mankotia also praised Pathania stating that he had sacrificed a lot for the party. "I know how you feel when you are denied ticket after hard work of five year. But the work you have done for party by keeping intact the party cadre will pay you," said Mankotia.
Hitting at the ruling party, Mankotia said BJP leaders who were raising question on his compromise with Singh had forgotten what their top leaders, Dhumal and Shanta, were doing six months ago.
Speaking in the rally, Virbhadra Singh said what happened between him and Mankotia was the will of almighty.
"Mankotia's re-entry has strengthened the party not only in the Kangra district but in the state," said Virbhadra.
He said the Congress would form the next government in the state and the people of Shahpur would also vote for a change.