U-Turn By Virbhadra Singh’s Son Hours After Quitting As Himachal Minister

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Mr SIngh said he took the decision after speaking to the observers sent by the party’s high command.

In signs of a thaw in the infighting-riddled Himachal Pradesh unit of the Congress, state minister Vikramaditya Singh has decided not to “press his resignation” hours after tendering it. Six Congress MLAs had cross-voted in favour of the BJP candidate in the Rajya Sabha election on Tuesday, leading to the party suffering a stunning defeat.

Amid a possible threat to the survival of the Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu government, Mr Singh had announced his resignation as the Public Works minister on Wednesday morning. The minister had accused Mr Sukhu of “negligence” towards MLAs and disrespecting his late father and former chief minister Virbhadra Singh. 

Stating that he will not be pressing for his resignation being accepted after a day of high drama, Mr Singh said, “I have spoken to the observers that were sent by the party high command. The organisation is more important than one individual. Keeping the organisation strong is every individual’s responsibility. In the larger interest of the party and the unity of the party, I will not press my resignation that was rejected by the chief minister earlier today.”

When reporters asked him whether this meant the threat to the government was over, the minister said, “There was no crisis to begin with. It was a creation. A solution can be found to everything if people work together and take a positive approach. We are here to serve the people of the state and governing is the way to do that. Strengthening the government and serving the people by doing so is everyone’s responsibility.”

Rajiv Shukla, Congress’ Himachal in-charge, who was with Mr Singh when he made the announcement, also said that the government has a majority and there is no threat to it.

‘Disrespect’

Earlier in the day, Mr Singh had asserted that the 2022 Assembly polls in Himachal were fought and won in the name of his father and former chief minister Virbhadra Singh, who was the tallest Congress leader in the state. After the Congress won 40 out of the 68 Seats, Vikramaditya Singh and his mother Pratibha SIngh, who is the state party chief, were among the frontrunners for the chief minister’s post, but lost out to Mr Sukhu. 

“In the past year, I have not said a word on the government’s functioning. But it is my responsibility to the people to speak out now… The way the government has functioned, the negligence towards MLAs, the drowning of their voices has led us to this point,” the minister had said.

An emotional Mr Singh had also accused the government of disrespecting Virbhadra Singh, alleging that it failed to find land to erect his statue. 
 

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