Grappling with infighting, HP Cong top brass lobbying in Delhi

Published on Nov 29, 2019 11:45 PM IST

Infighting in Cong was more evident in Dharamshala, when former minister Sudhir Sharma did not contest polls

HT Image
HT Image
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh | By, Shimla

A week after All India Congress Committee (AICC) dissolved the party’s state, block and district units in Himachal Pradesh, hectic lobbying is underway for the top posts with leaders from rival factions camping in New Delhi.

State party chief Kuldeep Singh Rathore along with his close confidante and party’s organisational secretary Rajnish Kimta is in Delhi for the last three days. Rathore met his mentor Congress deputy leader in Rajya Sabha, Anand Sharma, and the party’s organisation secretary KC Venugopal. According to Rathore, AICC had dissolved the state unit after consultation with him because he did not get a chance to pick his own team after taking over reigns eight months ago. So far, he had been working with the Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) constituted by his predecessor Sukhwinder Singh Sukhu.

On the other hand, senior Congress leaders and five-time legislator from Shilai, Harshwardhan Chauhan, who himself was in the race of for party chief, met AICC president Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi apprising them about the party’s situation in the state. It has come to the fore that although Congress president Rathore had replaced presidents of the three district and seven blocks, a large section of the party is skeptical about his organisational capabilities.

Congress had been drubbed badly in Lok Sabha elections on all four seats—Shimla, Hamirpur, Mandi and Kangra—while the BJP bagged up to 72% votes. A lack of resources and poor coordination between local and state units were considered responsible for the party’s humiliating defeat. Similarly, against the party’s dismal performance in bye-elections in Pacchad and Dharamshala, BJP candidates Reena Kashyap and Vishal Neharia emerged victorious.

Infighting in the Congress was more evident in Dharamshala, when former urban development minister Sudhir Sharma refused to contest elections clearly blaming the top state leadership for his absence from the polls. Sudhir rued that grassroot workers who stood with the party during trying times were being ignored, while workers owing allegiance to a particular leader were calling the shots.

Congress senior leader Ram Lal Thakur, the front runner for post of Congress legislature party leader was also in Delhi and met Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi.

Congress stalwart leader Kaul Singh Thakur, who won eight consecutive elections till 2012, but lost to BJP’s Jawahar Thakur, is said to be lobbying hard for the post of PPC president. Kaul Singh has been in Delhi for a long time and has met several leaders at the Centre.

Kuldeep Singh Rathore is also said to be consulting leaders at the Centre over the formation of the new team. “Any decision on selection of new leaders will be taken after consultation with AICC incharge for Himachal, Rajni Patil. Former party chief Sukhwinder Singh Sukhu has also given his feedback on party functioning.


    Gaurav Bisht heads Hindustan Times’ Himachal bureau. He covers politics in the hill state and other issues concerning the masses.

Close Story

Less time to read?

Try Quickreads

  • The woman reached the Zirakpur hotel at the given time and was taken to a room, where she was offered breakfast. But after consuming the food and soft drink, she started feeling giddy and fainted. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

    Mother of three gang-raped at Zirakpur hotel

    A Chandigarh resident was drugged and gang-raped at a Zirakpur hotel after being summoned there for a job interview, police said on Friday. Recently, a man named Pramod Kumar offered her a job with a good salary and asked her to reach a hotel in Zirakpur for the interview at 11 am on August 16. On regaining consciousness, she found herself lying on a road near Dhanas, Chandigarh.

  • The paver blocks at the park near House Number 539 in Phase 1 are broken, while wild growth invites all sorts of insects and reptiles. (Sanjeev Sharma/HT)

    Mohali’s parks only RWAs’ babies

    Broken pathways, rusting benches and non-functional lights are what is left of the park near one kanal houses in Phase 1, the oldest phase of Mohali city. Six months ago, the municipal corporation handed over the park's charge to the One Kanal Residents' Welfare Association. But the payment of funds needed for its maintenance seems to have slipped its mind. While forgetting to pay the RWA, MC has also failed to repair the park's run-down infrastructure.

  • As the hotel manager confronted the man, he pulled out a knife and stabbed him in the stomach, before fleeing the spot. (iStock)

    Confronted for cycle theft, man stabs hotel manager in Chandigarh’s Kajheri

    A hotel manager was injured after The victim, Shiv Pujan, 25 was stabbed by a man whom he had confronted for stealing a cycle, police said on Friday. The victim, Shiv Pujan, 25, works as a manager at HK Residency Hotel in Kajheri village, Chandigarh, and lives on the hotel premises. An injured Pujan was rushed to Government Multi-Specialty Hospital, Sector 16, where he remains under treatment. Efforts are on to arrest the accused.

  • Ropar Range DIG Gurpreet Singh Bhullar addressing the media regarding the rescue and arrests in Mohali on Friday. (HT Photo)

    Kharar student freed from clutches of honey-trap gang in 48 hours

    A 20-year-old youth who was kidnapped from Kharar on Wednesday after being honey trapped was rescued from a flat in the town's Ranjit Nagar in less than 48 hours. Hailing from Ludhiana, Bhumla is a student of bachelor of engineering at Chandigarh University, Gharuan, and lives in a hostel on the university campus. His father is a manager at a private firm in Ludhiana.

  • The Dubai flight that was scheduled to leave at 5.40 pm departed from Chandigarh after a 50-minute delay. (HT Photo)

    Chandigarh: Family of 3 offloaded from Dubai flight for not heeding Covid protocols

    High drama was witnessed at the Chandigarh International Airport on Friday after three members of a family allegedly refused to follow Covid protocols and created ruckus inside the IndiGo Airlines Dubai-bound flight (6E-55), causing nearly an hour's delay. Chandigarh International Airport chief executive officer Rakesh Ranjan Sahay said the family, comprising a couple and their daughter, was offloaded by the Indigo crew over the passengers unruly behaviour”.

Story Saved
Saved Articles
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Saturday, August 20, 2022
Start 15 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now