Shimla (Vidhan Sabha): Fresh from a victory in the elections, congress legislators assembled in the ruling lounge to formally elect the new chief minister but ended up adopting a unanimous resolution authorizing party president Sonia Gandhi to appoint the new incumbent.
The meeting started late and both senior leaders Virbhadra Singh and Vidya Stokes were spotted entering the meeting hall together.
Congress high command appointed Delhi Chief minister Shiela Dixit, congress general secretary Janardhan Dwivedi and party incharge for Himachal Birender Chauhdhary observers were present at the meeting of the newly elected legislators when the one line resolution was moved.
Front runner for the Chief ministers position, Virbhadra Singh moved the resolution, which was jointly seconded by Kaul Singh Thakur and Vidya Stokes.
Of the 36 elected congressmen, 34 were present in the meeting. While newly elected legislator from Doon, Ram Kumar has been booked in a murder case and was missing from the CLP meeting, senior congress leader GS Bali was said to be unwell and could not make it to the venue.
Some of the legislators who were members of the last Vidhan Sabha by habit headed for the opposition lounge when they arrived, only to be corrected by the house staff that the meet was scheduled to be held in the ruling lounge.
By winning 36 seats in a house of 68, Congress won the election and reduced the outgoing BJP government of 43 members to an opposition party of 26 members.
Though there are other claimants like Kaul Singh, GS Bali and Vidya Stokes for the chief ministers position but after party president Sonia Gandhi made Virbhadra, the party president just before the polls, the win for the party has only reinforced the claim of the senior congressman for yet another stint as head of the government in Himachal Pradesh