Shinde Flops As Congress Unity Implodes
Himachal This Week
Himachal Congress is passing through a crucial phase of determining future strategy to face general assembly elections due later this year. Strangely at this important hour, leaders instead of showing high morale and unity are fighting with each other in public. First it appeared Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh had misgivings about the leadership of party and wanted party president Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu replaced. Later Sukhu gathered support of few others and started making it a group fight as it reportedly appeared he had the support of GS Bali and Vidya Stokes, political observers point out.
Chief Minister tried to project his official group and made the fight crucial by referring to the difference of elected and non-elected office bearers of the party. As Sukhu is nominated and not elected, it seemed Chief Minister had hit where it hurts most the leader of the party. Not only this, Chief Minister went to the extent of suggesting that all posts right from block onwards should be elected so that workers have opportunity to select their own leaders. It is true that nominated leaders have hit the process of democracy in the party and there would be a general demand to follow it. All leaders have flocked to the capital for meeting the high command and it seems there is no clear picture there too. The Congress has suffered in the process of slow decision making or unresolved vacillation in many states. In Himachal too, it seems by its failure to nip the fire in early stages it has virtually made it a public brawl, political observers point out.
The state Congress affairs in charge Sushil Kumar Shinde instead of resolving the dispute added fuel to the fire by joining two rallies; one led by Chief Minister and other by the opposing faction. This is not going to augur well for the party. Generally it is believed that due to this conflict, Sukhu has gained attention but on the ground Vibhadra Singh is miles ahead with his popularity and experience, political observers point out.
It is talk of the valleys and hills that none of these leaders can form a government except Virbhadra Singh who has stature and experience. If the Congress has to form a government in Himachal, it would not be without Virbhadra leading the party.