Virbhadra’s adversary to rejoin Congress

Shimla: Ahead of Nov 4 assembly polls in Himachal Pradesh, former chief minister Virbhadra Singh’s political adversary Vijai Singh Mankotia is all set to rejoin the Congress on his recommendation, a party leader said here Thursday.

Five-time legislator Mankotia’s induction got approval of the party high command on the recommendation of five-time chief minister and state unit president Virbhadra Singh, said a senior party leader. The move is an indication of a compromise between the two ahead of Nov 4 state polls.

Party sources said the party is going to field Mankotia in the forthcoming assembly polls from Shahpur in Kangra, the biggest district in the state.

After facing suspension from the Congress, Mankotia had released a much-hyped audio CD of a telephonic conversation of monetary transactions between Virbhadra Singh, his wife Pratibha and a former bureaucrat, in 2007.

On the basis of the CD, Virbhadra Singh and his wife were booked by the police Aug 3, 2009, for alleged misuse of official position and criminal misconduct when he was the chief minister in 1989.

A trial court in Shimla, while framing the graft charges against the couple June 25, observed the “materials on record show existence of criminal conspiracy by Virbhadra Singh and Pratibha Singh”.


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