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Monday, Sep 23, 2019

Kuldeep Singh Rathore appointed Himachal Congress chief, replaces Sukhu

Kuldeep Singh Rathore, who hails from Kumarsain in Theog assembly segment in Shimla, is a member of the AICC and former general secretary and chief spokesman of the Himachal Pradesh Congress Committee (HPCC).

india Updated: Jan 11, 2019 16:35 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Shimla
Kuldeep Singh Rathore has been appointed Himachal Congress chief.
Kuldeep Singh Rathore has been appointed Himachal Congress chief. (HT Photo )
         

All India Congress Committee (AICC) president Rahul Gandhi on Thursday appointed senior leader Kuldeep Singh Rathore as the Himachal Congress chief replacing Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu, ahead of the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

Rathore, 55, who hails from Kumarsain in Theog assembly segment in Shimla, is a member of the AICC and former general secretary and chief spokesman of the Himachal Pradesh Congress Committee (HPCC). He is considered close to Congress Rajya Sabha member Anand Sharma.

Sukhu, whose tenure ended last year, was replaced flowing differences between him and former chief minister Virbhadra Singh, who was demanding his replacement before the Lok Sabha elections. Sukhu, an MLA from Naduan, was the longest-serving state Congress president.

In appointing Rathore, the party leadership has sought to balance the regional equation in the state as leader of opposition in the Himachal assembly Mukesh Agnihotri hails from Una and Sukhu is from Hamirpur, both part of lower region of the state.

Rathore, who rose through the ranks in the Congress, remained president of the state unit of the party’s student wing — the National Students’ Union of India — from 1981 to 1987 and state general secretary of the Youth Congress. He was in race for a ticket from the Theog assembly segment in 2017 after party octogenarian leader Vidya Stokes announced retirement from electoral politics.

“It’s a welcome decision, Rahulji has reposed trust in a common grassroots leader,” said former state Congress president and Rajya Sabha member Viplove Thakur.

First Published: Jan 11, 2019 16:16 IST