Shimla: Not a comfortable victory in the Himachal assembly elections has put the newly installed Virbhadra Singh led congress government under pressure from loyalists, some of whom despite losing at the polls have been rehabilitated as chairman of government organizations.
A senior journalist noted, “sharing the spoils of victory in the elections is only revealing the contradictions in the Congress party, where the faction opposed to the six time chief minister has been kept out.”
Party insiders revealed that some of the disgruntled party leaders, which included legislators, have met Birender Chaudhary, party general secretary who is incharge for Himachal, and complained about being sidelined.
One party insider disclosed, “with cabinet slots not filled, handing out positions to leaders who have lost in the recent elections is not only a futile attempt to turn defeat into victory but also shows that the leadership is in a highly weakened position and under pressure from loyalists.”
Though the government has adopted the party manifesto as its policy document but has so far not spelled out its agenda of how it would meet its commitments of providing unemployment allowance or creating 1 lakh jobs annually.
Soon after the new government was sworn in, Harsh Mahajan, a former minister who has not contested the last two elections, was appointed chairman of HP Cooperative Bank. He was followed by Kuldeep Pathania, who lost in the recent polls, but has been made chairman State Pollution Control Board.
Yesterday, Ram Lal Thakur, a former minister who lost in the recent elections, was made chairman state finance commission and today Kewal Singh Pathania, a former youth congress president, has been named vice-chairman of HRTC – the public transport corporation.
All happen to belong to the Virbhadra faction. Several others are said to have queued up to secure a position of office in the new set up.