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Himachal Congress chief Pratibha Singh lauds BJP, admits that Congress is no competition for the saffron party

Himachal Pradesh Congress chief Pratibha Singh declared how her party might not stand a chance to even come close to BJP in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls.

On one hand, the Gandhi scion, Rahul Gandhi is wandering from state to state leading his Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra to consolidate people’s mandate in a last-ditch attempt to revive his party’s fortune before the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, and on the other, the party has been struggling with an array of obstacles in various states. In Himachal Pradesh, for example, the party is in deep trouble.

Day after party observers declared that they have mediated a truce between rival factions, state party president Pratibha Singh struck a divisive note on Friday, March 1, complimenting the BJP and drawing attention to flaws in her party-led state administration.

The internal feud in Himachal Congress was in the open after six rebel Congress MLAs cross-voted during the Rajya Sabha elections that were held on February 27, resulting in the loss of the Congress party candidate Abhishek Manu Singhvi and the win of BJP’s Harsh Mahajan. As a result, on February 29 Himachal Pradesh Assembly speaker Kuldeep Singh Pathania disqualified these six rebel Congress MLAs. The six leaders cease to be members of the Himachal Pradesh Assembly with immediate effect.

Further complicating matters for the Congress government in Himachal Pradesh, Vikramaditya Singh, a state minister and the son of the former Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh and the current State Party President Pratibha Singh stepped down from his position on February 28.

Soon after, the Congress high command ordered DK Shivakumar to fly to Himachal urgently to manage the crisis. However, only a day after Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister and Congress observer for Himachal Pradesh, DK Shivakumar, declared that Himachal Pradesh’s political crisis was over, state Congress chief Pratibha Singh declared how her party might not stand a chance to even come close to BJP in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls.

Congress is on a weak footing: Congress Himachal chief Pratibha Singh bats for BJP in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls

On Friday, March 1, hours after her son Vikramaditya Singh met with the rebel MLAs who voted against the Congress in the Rajya Sabha elections, Pratibha Singh told ANI, “A lot of things remain to be done in Congress…It is true that BJP’s work is better than ours”. Further, claiming the BJP “will do a lot of things” as per the directions of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, she said the Congress is on a weak footing.

“From day 1, I had been telling the CM that we would be able to face the upcoming elections only if he strengthens the organisation. This is a very tough situation for us. We can see a lot of difficulties on the ground. As per the directions of PM Modi, BJP is going to do a lot of things…We are on weak footing there. I urged him again and again that we need to strengthen and the party needs to be organised…I can say that it is a difficult time. Still, we have to contest elections and win,” she added.

Pratibha Singh further went on to demonstrate the disconnect between the party’s observers and the state unit when she questioned DK Shivakumar’s assessment of Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu. Shivkumar had shown confidence that his-led Himachal Pradesh state government would stay and that all the MLAs wanted the Congress government for five years. However, Pratibha Singh was quoted by ANI as saying, “Observer ke bolne se kya hota hai’, it is the people who will decide what will happen in the future.” 

Earlier, the State Congress chief defended the six dissident MLAs, stating that their only demands were to be heard and opposed their disqualification.

Notably, the Congress had 40 MLAs while the BJP has 25 in the 68-member state assembly. The remaining three seats are held by independents. Now, with the disqualification of the six Congress rebel MLAs, the strength of the House has reduced from 68 to 62. The halfway mark is now 32. The Congress now has 34 MLAs and the BJP has a total of 28 MLAs, including independents. The fortunes of the grand old party in the hill state now rely on its capability to keep the rest of its party MLAs together.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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