Veteran Congressman questions Himachal Chief Minister’s continuation in office

SHIMLA: A former Minister in Himachal government and a scion of the erstwhile ruling family of Nalagarh Vijayendra Singh on Friday questioned the continuation of Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh in office despite of his failing health. Mr. Vijayendra Singh who was the other contender for the top post in 1983 when there was a void in State leadership was a close associate of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi who wanted him to lead the State after Mr. Ram Lal Thakur was made the Governor of Andhra Pradesh.

He narrowly missed in the number game to the incumbent Chief Minister and had lived in political oblivion since then. Mr. Singh who was first elected in 1977 and became Minister and Chief Parliamentary Secretary in the government was even opposed for a party ticket later by the Virbhadra Singh faction.

In an emotional letter written to the Chief Minister and released to the media later Mr. Singh has also commented candidly on the present state of health of politics in the hill State. He has blamed the Chief Minister for indulging only in political vendetta against the opposition and his own party men when the State is fast becoming bankrupt in contrast. He said the CM with clear signs of senility and incoherent speech has employed a barrage of retired persons in the government who have cocooned him from reality.

The veteran Congressman has blamed the incumbent government for neglecting the development, sticking to age old land acquisition laws, ignoring tourism and hydel power industries and blatantly failing in generating any employment to the lakhs of unemployed youth in the tiny hill State.

Mr. Singh also claimed that he has no intentions to re-engage in active politics but has every right to be a responsible citizen and expose the hollowness of the present government. Calling Virbhadra Singh an allergic to talent and merit he said the Chief Minister who remains surrounded by his mediocre cohorts stays busy in saving his own skin in numerous IT, CBI and other Court Cases.

Forecasting Virbhadra’s long political career now ending in a whimper he said in case of Chief Minister again unleashing vendetta against him he would approach the party high command and disclose his 31 years of harassment by the Chief Minister and request for his removal.

KY Singh is a political observer and a senior journalist with an interest in a diverse set of issues related to Himachal Pradesh and other mountain states. He lives in Shimla.

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