Virbhadra expresses interest in assembly polls

Shimla: With congress fraught with factionalism in the state here, union minister and five time former chief minister Virbhadra Singh declared that he was not keen to contest the next parliamentary elections.

He said that he would campaign for the party in the assembly elections but refrained to disclose his cards whether he would contest in them. Elections to the assembly are due by December, 2012.

Singh, who is currently a cabinet minister for micro, small and medium enterprises in Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s government, is here on a three day tour of the state and was talking to media persons.

“I will abide by President Sonia Gandhi’s directions as to how best she would want to use my services for the party,” he said. “I do not intend to contest the next parliament elections,” he added.

Though not satisfied with the party’s functioning, he said that he did not want to interfere in the state.

Rubbishing speculations about floating a new party Singh said, “I cannot thing of quitting the congress party. I’m a congressman and will remain one till I die, unless a situation is created that forces me to leave the party.”

Commenting upon notices being issued to party workers who owe allegiance to him for raising slogans during a meeting of the Pradesh Congress Committee General house recently, he said, “Such kind of action was totally unwarranted especially as the party is bracing up for facing elections.”

Denying any outside support for rebel BJP parliamentarian Rajhan Sushant anti corruption campaign against the Dhumal government, the union minister said, “I have rarely met Sushant even during the parliament session, question of my backing him does not arise.”

About NSUI president Yedupatti Thakur, who is considered to be part of Virbhadra’s camp, being spotted at a program organized by Sushant, he said that the youth leader had gone on his own and he had nothing to do with it.

Responding to the issue of high end apartments being constructed in a thickly forested area of Shimla, Singh said that the government should ban all constructions till the finding of the single man commission appointed for going into all land transactions are made public.

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