Shimla: Still smarting from the severe drubbing the party got in the Lok Sabha poll and unable to blame the rain for the electoral reverses, state Congress leaders having been playing the blame game for over a month, unsure about where the buck stops.
Backed by a high command whose authority over regional satraps has eroded, state Congress president Sukhvinder Singh Sukku found a sacrificial lamb in block congress committees and disbanded 37 of them for poor electoral showing.
“Some of these committees our unwieldy, packed with inactive members and to revive them, fresh blood needs to be infused in the party from the ranks,” was the reason dished out by Sukhvinder for dissolving the block committees.
The state congress presidents action has provoked both the dissident camp and that belonging to chief minister Virbhadra Singh to term it arbitrary and uncalled for
Dissident leaders led by MLA Asha Kumari and Rajya Sabha MP Viplove Thakur have publically stated that not the humble block committee member but the state leadership should own up responsibility for the drubbing the party got.
An AICC secretary Kuldeep Rathore went to the extent of saying that injustice had been meted out to the disbanded committees and they should be reinstated.
“After all it was these very committee that brought the congress to power in the December 2012 assembly elections, when we had a BJP government in the state,” said Rathore.
Not approving of dismissing the 37 committees, but not agreeing with the dissident group over blaming the state leadership, chief minister has put the ball in the centers court
The Modi wave was an overriding factor that not only swept Himachal Pradesh but, barring a few pockets, the whole of North India and beyond, says Virbhadra Singh.
Where Sukhvinder attempted to assert the party authority by asking ministers and legislators to explain the losses in their constituencies, the chief minister dismissed him as a nominated president who needed to prove his credentials be becoming an elected president.
To the challenge posed by Viplove Thakur, the only MP Congress is now left with in the state, Virbhadra retorted that it was easy for someone whose boots were not on the ground but sitting comfortably in the Rajya Sabha to comment on the losses of the party.
The state has 7 parliamentarian representatives, of which 4 are in Lok Sabha and 3 in the Rajya Sabha and it is perhaps the first time that Congress holds onto just one Rajya Sabha seat.