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How to ask for votes when we could do nothing: Himachal Pradesh Congress president Pratibha Singh refuses to contest Lok Sabha elections

Senior leader of the state unit of the Congress party, Ram Lal Thakur said that the state party Chief Pratibha Singh is the only candidate from the party who can win the Mandi parliamentary seat.

On Wednesday (20th March) Himachal Pradesh‘s state Congress president Pratibha Singh has categorically ruled out contesting from the Mandi parliamentary constituency. She was announced as a candidate from Mandi, however, she has refused to contest elections. In a media interaction, Pratibha Singh said, “How to ask for votes when we have done nothing.” On the other hand, a senior leader of the state unit of the Congress party, Ram Lal Thakur said that the state party Chief Pratibha Singh is the only candidate who can win the Mandi parliamentary seat.

Elections will be held in the seventh and last phase in the hill state of Himachal Pradesh. Himachal Congress president Pratibha Singh has refused to contest from the Mandi parliamentary constituency. The Himachal Congress president said, “We could not do anything for the workers while being in government. Why will workers work for us during the elections?”

Pratibha Singh said, “As far as the rest of the tickets are concerned, we still have time. Himachal Pradesh goes to polls on June 1. Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu also said in the meeting that we have time now. In a few days, we will decide the tickets for Lok Sabha elections and Assembly by-elections.”

She said, “We have a new challenge in front of us in the form of six MLAs who have been suspended from the party. By-elections are going to be held on these six seats and we must win on all, and it is my responsibility to make them win. This is why I withdrew my candidature from Mandi… The situation was very different earlier. Winning the Lok Sabha elections was the priority of the party for which, I have visited Mandi multiple times and I am well aware of all nooks and corners of my constituency… I have suggested the name of Kaul Singh Thakur for Mandi as he is well known in the area and also has a good understanding of the ground…”

The incumbent Mandi MP added, “I have decided not to contest the Lok Sabha elections as the ground situation is not good. I have extensively toured every region of the state and found that no worker is active and it is difficult to get success in such a situation. I have refused to contest the election because I am not in a position to fight it. You cannot win elections just by distributing MPLAD (Member of Parliament Local Area Development) funds. If party workers who worked hard for the party’s victory in the assembly elections were given responsibilities and importance, they would have been active at the grassroots level.”

On the other hand, Ram Lal Thakur – a senior Congress leader in the state – has said that no one except Pratibha Singh can win the Lok Sabha seat from Mandi. His statement came after Pratibha Singh refused to contest the elections.

Thakur said, “The Congress state Chief is an MP and she will have to contest. We have the same situation as it was earlier in the state. The people of the state will vote in favour of the Congress against the BJP. We shall win the majority of seats in the Assembly and also in Parliament. Pratibha Ji, the wife of Virbhadra Singh, is the only candidate who can win the Mandi parliamentary seat.”

When questioned about his own candidacy against Anurag Thakur, Ram Lal Thakur asserted that the Congress boasts a Chief Minister, Deputy Chief Minister, and other proficient leaders capable of steering the party to success.

Thakur added, “You are asking if I will contest elections from Hamirpur Parliament, it is not possible to contest the elections without money. We have a Deputy Chief Minister and Chief Minister from Hamirpur, but we shall also keep in mind that Anurag Thakur and JP Nadda are there against us. They have huge money power, RSS is with them. The Congress needs to come together and we shall contest against them.”

When asked about the rebel disqualified Congress legislators, Ram Lal Thakur said, “BJP will not take the rebels and there is no scope for them in the Congress. People have voted them as MLA in the name of the Congress party and they have deceived the people.”

“The Congress party is the one which has built the state. The BJP needs to find candidates; we have scores of such candidates available. To do cross-voting is a suicidal attempt by the six rebel-disqualified Congress MLAs. I don’t think that the BJP has their own candidates and people will not follow them,” he said.

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Searched termsHimachal Congress
OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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