Himachal politics: Vikramaditya steps down as minister day after Congress loses RS thriller - Hindustan Times
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Himachal politics: Vikramaditya steps down as minister day after Congress loses RS thriller

Feb 28, 2024 01:05 PM IST

Puts ball in Congress high command’s court; says party humiliated him; calls for introspection on defeat of Abhishek Manu Singhvi to BJP’s Harsh Mahajan in Rajya Sabha election

Amid a fresh scramble for power in the state, Himachal Pradesh public works minister Vikramaditya Singh on Wednesday announced his resignation from the Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu cabinet.

Congress leader Vikramaditya Singh addressing a press conference in Shimla on Wednesday. (Deepak Sansta/HT)
Congress leader Vikramaditya Singh addressing a press conference in Shimla on Wednesday. (Deepak Sansta/HT)

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“I am submitting my resignation to the chief minister and the governor,” he told reporters in Shimla.

“There have been attempts to humiliate and undermine me from some quarters and in spite of reservations, I supported the government,” he said. Troubles have been mounting for Congress since Tuesday, when it lost the sole Rajya Sabha seat to the BJP with six of its members cross-voting in the poll.

Vikramaditya Singh, as he announced his resignation, said he was deeply hurt with what was transpiring over the past two days and said there’s a need to ponder what went wrong for the Congress.

He said he has apprised Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge and party leaders Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and Rahul Gandhi about the developments and the ball is now in the party high command’s court.

He said that the 2022 assembly election in the state was fought in the name of former chief minister Virbhadra Singh, also his father. “There was no poster, or hoarding or banner which did not carry his picture. There was a full-page ad with his picture in the newspapers a day before voting,” he said. But after victory when the matter of his statue came, the government failed to decide on a location.

He lamented that not even a modest plot on Mall Road was allocated for the installation of his father’s statue. Despite his efforts to address the matter with the party high command, no action was taken, prompting his decision to step down from his ministerial position. “It is not a political but an emotional thing for a son,” Vikramaditya Singh said.

He highlighted concerns over economic mismanagement and neglect of MLAs within the government over the past year.

He emphasised the significant role played by youngsters in bringing the Congress to power but questioned whether their demands were adequately met. He alleged an attempt to undermine him within his own department, citing a recent show-cause notice sent to officials during an event he attended.

“The Congress had made promises to the people and we owe the responsibility to fulfil those promises and I would decide my future course of action after consulting my supporters,” Vikramaditya Singh said.

He also quoted a couplet by the last Mughal Emperor of India Bahadur Shah Zafar, “Kitna hai bad-naseeb Zafar dafn ke liye, do gaz zameen bhi na mili kuch-e-yaar main.”

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

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