Shimla: Terming it as absurd and mischievous, seven of the nine cabinet ministers in the Virbhadra Singh cabinet have dismissed reports about a move to appoint a working chief minister in Himachal Pradesh because of the incumbent reportedly not being in good health.
Led by senior minister Vidya Stokes, ministers Sujjan Singh Pathania, Thakur Singh Bharmouri, Mukesh Agnihotri, Sudhir Sharma, Prakash Chauhdary and Dhani Ram Shandil in a joint statement issued here today state that there was no move to appoint a working chief minister.
Interestingly, two powerful ministers in the cabinet, Kaul Singh Thakur and GS Bali are not signatories to the statement issued by other cabinet colleagues about the health status of the chief minister.
Before Congress president Sonia Gandhi made Virbhadra Singh as the campaign incharge for the general assembly election held in November, 2012; both Kaul Singh and Bali had let their intentions be known about being in the fray for the chief ministers post.
A section of the media on today reported that the 78 year old chief minister may anytime soon seek medical treatment abroad and a working chief minister could be appointed.
The seven ministers have rubbished the media reports saying “it was totally false and baseless”
“Virbhadra Singh was hale and hearty and there was no truth in reports that he was going abroad for any treatment. All such rumours were figment of imagination and a handiwork of frustrated and sick mind who were out to somehow create confusion in the minds of the people”, the ministers say in the joint statement.
The reports in a section of media appear to be a conspiracy by certain vested interests with a motive of destablising the popular government, the statement holds.
Reports about the chief minister not being at his best have been circulating in political and bureaucratic circles here for quiet sometime now but he has been attending official duties relentlessly, even walking in the snow to get to office.
However, unlike his earlier comebacks, Virbhadra, this time has not taken the battle into the opposition camp after assuming power by pointing out governance lapses or corruption issues during the BJP government term that has led to speculation about the health of the chief minister.