Congress has the numbers in Himachal: Virbhadra

Shimla: The Congress party today claimed it has the numbers for a majority in the Himachal Pradesh assembly and form the next government in the state.

Himachal Congress president Virbhadra Singh said here Congress president Sonia Gandhi would decide on who would lead the new government.

“I have left it to Sonia-ji to decide who will be the next chief minister,” Virbhadra Singh told IANS here, adding that he has “full faith in the high command”.

 Conceding his defeat, outgoing Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal told reporters in Hamirpur, his home district town, that his Bharatiya Janata Party would now analyse the debacle.

“We will have to find out where we went wrong. We will analyse and assess the reasons,” Dhumal said. “My best wishes to the new government”.

The BJP, which won 41 seats in 2007 assembly elections, was down to 26 in a house of 68.

Congress leader Harsh Mahajan said a meeting of the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) would be held in Shimla in the next two-three days to decide on the new leader.

Party sources said Virbhadra Singh would likely to be nominated as the next chief minister as 28 of the 36 elected legislators owe allegiance to him.

“On behalf of the Congress party, I thank the people of the state for having reposed their faith in the party and its leaders at the centre and in the state,” Virbhadra Singh said in a statement.

He said the victory of the Congress was a resounding endorsement of the flagship programmes of the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government at the centre.

Photo: Amit

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