Congress Bid to Pacify Virbhadra, Gives Him Say in Poll Picks
Congress has assured Himachal Pradesh CM Virbhadra Singh that he would have a decisive say in ticket distribution in the state elections in a bid to persuade him to relent on his demand for removal of bete noire Sukhwinder Singh Sukhu as state party chief. The assurance appears to be more of a face-saver as Singh has declared that he would not contest the upcoming elections if Sukhu is not removed despite the leadership having taken a stand that his demand would not be accepted.
Sources said the leadership has conveyed to Singh that change of guard in the state unit so close to elections would trigger confusion among party workers. They argued that key issue in polls would be selection of candidates and Virbhadra would have a principal say in that. By insider accounts, Virbhadra Singh has demanded that 60 of the 70 candidates should be his nominees.