Virbhadra rules out leaving party, warns of Congress losing elections

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Shimla: Cornered within Congress, old guard leader Virbhadra Singh expressed reservations about functioning of the party’s frontal organizations saying that incompetent leaders could lead the party to a defeat in the upcoming elections.

Virbhadra with supporters at his residence

Talking to the media at his residence, the five time chief minister said, “from block to state congress committee, leaders without any merit have been elected and appointed by flouting norms and these people are to discharge the duty of selecting candidates for the next assembly polls.”

“Personally I’m ready to make any sacrifices for a party that I have served for 50 years but incompetent leaders and a weak party could see defeat in the elections,” he said.

The septuagenarian leader who was flanked by 7 MLAs noted that despite being given charge of leading the party election campaign, he was being ignored. “In such a scenario one cannot say about the outcome,” he added.

Showing annoyance at AICC general secretary Rajni Patel, Virbhadra said the block, district and state committee members had been selected indiscriminately where the real workers had been kept out and non-entities had been picked.

He added that each committee was filled with nominated members, who were more than the elected ones.

Speaking about functioning of the Pradesh Congress Committee, Virbhadra said the party was functioning in a most obscure manners and one was not aware what was going on.

On the other one often read statements of HPCC general secretary Kuldeep Rathore, who was being given a free hand.

He said that all these issues had been discussed with AICC general secretary Ahmed Patel in Delhi.

Expressing full faith in the leadership of Sonia Gandhi but doubtful of the stat leadership, the congress leader warned that the party may lose the elections.

He held out that senior congress leaders Asha Kumari, GS Bali and state party president Kaul Singh Thakur were working in the interest of BJP only to ensure their victory in the state.

Denying that he had objected to Delhi chief minister Shiela Dixit being made chairperson of the election screening committee, he said that despite not being on the all important committee, he would urge them to allot tickets for candidates of his choice.

Photo:  Amit

Editor-Reporter with Hill Post, Ravinder Makhaik as a journalist has for over two decades worked for India’s leading newspapers and television networks.

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