In an unexpected development, former Himachal Pradesh minister and Rajput leader Vijay Singh Mankotia is all set to rejoin the Congress following his patch-up with state unit president Virbhadra Singh ahead of the November 4 assembly elections.
Mankotia, who wields influence in some pockets of Kangra district, is likely to be the party candidate from his traditional Shahpur seat.
Sources said Mankotia met Singh, with whom he has shared a love-hate relationship over the past 30 years, in presence of party general secretary Birendra Singh. Both are learnt to have agreed to let bygones be bygones.
By bringing Mankotia back, Singh has stumped his detractors who were trying to get the expelled leader into the party fold to corner him.
Mankotia, a five-time legislator, was expelled from the party in 2007 after he released an audio CD allegedly containing conversation between Singh, his wife Pratibha Singh, IAS officer Mohinder Lal and some industrialists discussing financial transactions.
The enmity between Mankotia and Singh is traced to the latter’s move to drop him from his ministry in 2005 in the wake of downsizing of cabinet.