Virbhadra-Mankotia love-hate continues

  • Naresh K Thakur, Hindustan Times, Dharamsala: Dharamsala
  • Updated: Apr 18, 2014 10:57 IST

The love- hate relationship between chief minister Virbhadra Singh and former minister Major Vijai Singh Mankoita continues. On Thursday, they shared dais after a-year-and-a-half when Congress candidate Chander Kumar filed nomination for the Kangra parliamentary seat.

Cursing Virbhadra only a few days ago and disgruntled over being “ignored”, Mankotia at last received the importance he sought. He was among the privileged leaders to ride with the CM in an open jeep that took Chander Kumar to Dharamsala, where the candidate filed his nomination papers.

Just a month ago, Mankotia had threatened to contest the Kangra parliamentary seat as rebel Independent candidate, alleging that he was being ignored since being accepted back into party on the eve of the 2012 assembly elections. Mankotia had alleged that he had been disregarded during President’s visit to Kangra and when Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi had met ex- servicemen and addressed a rally at Dharamsala last month.

However, Virbhadra and Mankotia become best friends when the situation calls for it, and so they made truce again just 10 days ago after the CM visited the discontented leader on April 8.

In 2007, Mankotia had released a CD (compact disc) that allegedly contained evidence of Virbhadra and his wife being involved in corrupt deals. After a long legal battle, Virbhadra and Mankotia made peace in 2012.


The fissures in the Congress came to the fore when transport minister GS Bali, who represents Nagrota Bagwan assembly segment of Kangra parliamentary constituency, skipped the nomination rally of Chander Kumar. One of Bali’s aides said he was in Delhi for an important party work.

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