Drama, Show Of Strength Ahead Of Congress Meet On Himachal Chief Minister

Workers were seen surrounding Mr Baghel’s car and raising slogans in favour of Pratibha Singh.

After its victory in Himachal Pradesh, the Congress tackled chaos today as its workers raised slogans and blocked a party leader’s car in an aggressive show of support for state chief Pratibha Singh, who is a frontrunner for Chief Minister.

Here are the top 10 points in this big story:

  1. Going into a meeting of top Congress leaders and newly elected MLAs to decide on the next Chief Minister, senior leader Rajiv Shukla told reporters: “There is no divide”.

  2. Pratibha Singh’s supporters gathered outside the meeting venue, the Oberoi Cecil in Shimla, and stopped the convoy of Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel, one of the central leaders sent by the party as an observer.

  3. In a video, Congress workers were seen surrounding Mr Baghel’s car and raising slogans in favour of Pratibha Singh, the wife of former Chief Minister Virbhardra Singh, who died last year. Pratibha Singh was appointed the party’s state chief earlier this year.

  4. There are at least three more candidates for the top job – Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu, Mukesh Agnihotri, and Harshwardhan Chauhan.

  5. Supporters of Sukhvinder Sukhu also gathered outside the hotel to push for their leader. Mr Sukhu is a five-time MLA who has often angled for the post of Chief Minister in the past.

  6. This morning, Pratibha Singh sought to remind her party that the elections were fought and won in the name of her husband Virbhadra Singh and his family could not be neglected.

  7. “I think I can lead the state as the Chief Minister since Sonia ji and the High Command gave me the responsibility to lead the party ahead of the elections. They should command me to take over as Chief Minister and I will do that work too with dignity and to the best of my responsibility,” she told NDTV.

  8. “It won’t be right to sideline Virbhadra Singh’s family when the election was fought and won in the name of Virbhadra Singh. We won 40 seats only because people have a strong emotional connect with Virbhadra Singh,” Ms Singh asserted.

  9. Asked about the different claimants for the top job, she said the highest priority was to “keep our flock together”.

  10. Yesterday, the Congress scored a victory in Himachal Pradesh by winning 40 of the state’s 68 seats. The BJP won 25 seats and independent candidates won three seats.