Anonymous letter hints at bickering within Congress

Pratibha Chauhan

Tribune News Service

Shimla, July 30

An anonymous letter addressed to AICC president Sonia Gandhi, seeking change in the state leadership is doing the rounds in political circles. There has been speculation of factionalism and one-upmanship plaguing the Congress ahead of the four by-polls.

A five-page letter, addressed to the AICC chief, has brought to fore the bickering within the state Congress, especially after the demise of former Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh.

Though the letter has 55 signatories, including 15 office-bearers of the Mandi Congress unit, its authenticity is uncertain.

Targets Rathore

  • The letter has cited the drawbacks of Himachal Pradesh Congress Committee (HPCC) president Kuldeep Rathore.
  • It also mentions names of 11 senior leaders who could be given the reins in place of the present party chief.
  • The main issues against Rathore include his inexperience in electoral politics and his inability to take everyone along to emerge as a credible face under whose leadership the party can go to the 2022 assembly polls.

The timing of the letter too is interesting as almost all the senior leaders, including Congress MLAs, have been making rounds of New Delhi to meet the high command and senior AICC leaders.

Interestingly, the letter has cited the drawbacks of Himachal Pradesh Congress Committee (HPCC) president Kuldeep Rathore. It also mentions names of 11 senior leaders who could be given the reins in place of the present party chief.

The main issues against Rathore is his inexperience in electoral politics and his inability to take everyone along to emerge as a credible face under whose leadership the party can go to the 2022 Assembly poll.

The letter not only mentions names of 11 senior leaders like Kaul Singh Thakur (Mandi), Asha Kumari (Chamba), Ram Lal Thakur (Bilaspur), GS Bali (Kangra), Sukhwinder Singh Sukhu, Mukesh Agnihotri (Una), Harshwardhan Chauhan (Sirmour), Pratibha Singh (Shimla), Sudhir Sharma (Kangra), Rajinder Rana (Hamirpur) and Viplove Thakur (Kangra) but also gives a brief profile of each.

The letter cites both the strengths and weaknesses of all the 11 potential replacement to Rathore, except in the case of Ram Lal Thakur, who has been projected as the tallest and most dynamic leader with no shortcomings, which comes as a surprise to most.

The Congress, which is the main opposition party, seems to be in a disarray with clamour amongst some leaders to lay claim on Virbhadra's political legacy.

Virbhadra's son Vikramaditya has claimed that nobody can lay claim to it, including him, as it has to be earned and not inherited.

The Congress, in the meantime, is awaiting the decision of Virbhadra's family regarding their decision to contest or stay out from the by-polls for Mandi Lok Sabha and Arki Assembly segment.

Vikramaditya Singh asserted that presently there is no leader in the Congress who has reach in every corner of the state. Hence, the decision to decide their leader must be left to the MLAs in case the Congress wins the next Assembly polls.

Courtesy: Tribune News Service
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