Congress leader Vikramaditya Singh resigns amid political turmoil in Himachal

Singh, the son of former Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh and Pratibha Singh, highlighted the neglect of MLAs in the government formation process.

| Updated: 28 February, 2024 2:21 pm IST
Congress govt on brink as minister Vikramaditya Singh resigns

NEW DELHI: In another blow to the Grand Old party, party leader Vikramaditya Singh resigned as the Public Works Minister in the Himachal Pradesh government, citing discontent over Chief Minister Sukhwinder Singh Sukhu’s leadership.

Singh’s decision followed the embarrassing defeat of Congress candidate Abhishek Manu Singhvi in the Rajya Sabha elections, where six Congress MLAs cross-voted. Speaking at a press conference, Singh expressed his dissatisfaction with the current circumstances, stating, “It is not correct for me to continue as a part of the government.” He emphasised the need for video consultations with his constituents to determine the future course of action.

Singh, the son of former Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh and Pratibha Singh, highlighted the neglect of MLAs in the government formation process. “The (state) government failed to find even a small piece of land on Mall Road to install the statue of a person (Virbhadra Singh) who was the CM of Himachal Pradesh six times, because of whom this government was formed,” he lamented.

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“I have spoken with the high command, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, (party) national president about what has happened in the last two days. The call has to be taken by the high command,” Singh added.

The resignation further exposed the internal strife within the Congress party in Himachal Pradesh. The rift between factions loyal to CM Sukhwinder Singh Sukhu and state unit chief Pratibha Singh became evident following the Rajya Sabha polls.

As BJP MLAs met Governor Shiv Pratap Shukla amid fears of potential suspension or disqualification of Congress legislators who cross-voted, BJP spokesperson Thakur expressed concerns about the Speaker’s actions to pass the budget. “We are apprehensive that Speaker Kuldeep Singh Pathania might suspend the BJP MLAs so that the budget could be passed in the Vidhan Sabha,” Thakur told reporters.

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The situation in Himachal Pradesh remains tense, with notices issued to Congress MLAs who voted for the BJP candidate, questioning their actions under the anti-defection law. Vikramaditya Singh’s resignation, against the backdrop of cross-voting and the Rajya Sabha defeat, underscores the challenges faced by the Congress government. The developments expose the deep-seated dissatisfaction among party members and highlight the struggle for control between different factions.

Singh’s emotional appeal, tearing up while reminiscing about his father, reflects the personal toll of the political turmoil. Teary-eyed, Singh said, “Someone who was the CM of the state for 6 times, due to whom this Government was formed in the state – they could not find a small space for his statue at Mall Road.

“This is the respect this Government has shown to my late father. We are emotional people, we have nothing to do with the post. But this is very unfortunate. I am very hurt, not politically but emotionally. ”The unresolved issues, including the neglect of MLAs and the defeat in the Rajya Sabha elections, point to a larger crisis within the party’s leadership in Himachal Pradesh.

 

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