How Congress is trying to mollify Virbhadra

Just as the Congress was relishing a breather, after the Nationalist Congress Party and United Progressive Alliance row ended, fresh trouble erupted in Himachal Pradesh. Veteran party leader Virbhadra Singh resigned from key party posts (chairman of the campaign committee and member of the manifesto and strategy panels). Timely staged as an act of defiance by Singh, ahead of the Himachal Pradesh assembly elections, his worries were put to rest by the UPA’s emissary, AICC general secretary Digvijay Singh.

As per orders from the Congress’ top brass, Digvijay met Virbhadra on Friday morning and mollified him. Sources in the Congress say Virbhadra’s main cause of concern focused on being named as the chief ministerial candidate from HP, while his position was being undermined by other Congress leaders.

A source close to Virbhadra, enlisted his main grouse that even though he was appointed as the chairman for HP polls campaign committee, he was not consulted about 21 members who were included in that committee. ‘Singh was also upset as he skipped a meeting of party manifesto committee held under Chairmanship of Union Minister Anand Sharma in New Delhi. He feels that Sharma is much junior to him and the Congress is giving Sharma’s say more importance,’ added the source.

Also one of the main reasons Virbhadra was miffed was because he has been excluded from the AICC screening committee headed by Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit to select candidates for the elections. Virbhadra was upset as Dikshit had been vested with these powers, he didn’t have any part in the ticket distribution, which will ultimately decide the fate of the election.

While sources reveal that the matter has been sorted out and an amicable solution reached, as Virbhadra will have a definite say in the ticket distribution with his candidate being accommodated.

Sources say ultimately he will be nominated for the CM’s post, but currently the Congress wanted to play safe with Virbhadra’s graft allegations, which lead to his exit.

Virbhadra Singh had earlier resigned as the Union Minister for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises on June 26, after a Himachal Pradesh court had framed charges of corruption against him and his wife Pratibha Singh.
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