New Delhi: After the Congress victory in the Himachal Pradesh election, the party’s MLAs are set to meet on Friday in Shimla to decide on the name of the chief minister. The MLAs are expected to pass a resolution authorising the party’s high command to take the final call for the same.
According to news agency ANI, Himachal Congress Legislature Party meeting is scheduled to be held at 3 pm at State Congress Headquarters, Rajiv Bhawan today. Rajeev Shukla, in-charge of the Himachal Pradesh Congress, and supervisors Bhupesh Baghel and Bhupendra Hooda will be present at the meeting.
The Congress had not projected a Chief Ministerial candidate in the hill state and faces the task of choosing a chief ministerial face without creating factions in the state unit. As per ANI, the meeting of MLAs was earlier planned to be held in Chandigarh but after the party got a clear majority, the meeting was decided to take place in the state’s capital.
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After securing a majority on its own, the party faces the uphill task to choose its chief ministerial candidate among various aspirants including former chief minister Virbhadra Singh’s wife Pratibha Singh. Among other apparent contenders for the post are former state Congress chief Sukhwinder Singh Sukhu and CLP leader Mukesh Agnihotri.
On Thursday, Shukla said that the Congress president will decide who will be the chief minister of Himachal Pradesh.
Besides deciding on the CM face, the party leaders also suspect “poaching” attempts by the BJP.
In an unpredictable contest, Congress returned to power in Himachal Pradesh on Thursday after five years. The grand old party won 40 seats in the 68-member assembly riding on anti-incumbency.
Meanwhile, the BJP won 25 seats, Independents won three seats and AAP failed to open its account in the state.
The BJP’s vote share was reduced from 48.79 per cent in 2017 polls to 43 percent, resulting in a loss of 25 seats, while the Congress vote share increased from 41.68 per cent to 49.90 percent and it had a net gain of 20 seats. The AAP, which contested 67 seats, polled 1.10 per cent and failed to open its account, while independents, including 27 BJP and Congress rebels, secured 10.39 per cent votes and won three seats.
The BJP’s all-out personalised campaign led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi attempted to buck the ‘alternative government’ trend in Himachal.
Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur resigned following the party’s defeat in the election. “I want to thank Prime Minister and central leadership (for their support) during last five years. We’ll stand for the development of the state irrespective of politics. We’ll analyse our shortcomings and improve during the next term,” he said, as quoted by ANI.
Congress in charge of Himachal Pradesh Rajiv Shukla assured the electors that the party will implement 10 guarantees in the state. “It’s victory of people of the state. People voted for change and against unemployment and inflation. We’ll be united and there won’t be any factionalism in our party. We met party chief Mallikarjun Kharge and had a discussion regarding our next step,” he said.
(With Agency Inputs)