Former Himachal Congress chief: ‘Announcing CM face before polls doesn’t always help… we will cross that bridge when we come to it’

Former president of Himachal Pradesh Congress Committee Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu, 56, was once just lately appointed the chairperson of the celebration’s state marketing campaign committee. In New Delhi to fulfill central leaders forward of the “Chintan Shivir” in Udaipur that started on Friday, Sukhu mentioned a variety of problems with The Indian Express, from the elevation of former adversary Virbhadra Singh’s spouse Pratibha Singh as state Congress leader to the factionalism within the Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC). Himachal Pradesh is going to polls later this 12 months.


Normally, marketing campaign committee chairpersons are projected as leader ministerial applicants. In your case, the Congress is slightly hesitant to claim you because the CM face.

At a rally in Mandi in 2017, Rahul Gandhi declared Virbhadra Singh because the CM candidate. Had the whole thing long past proper, Virbhadra would have grow to be the CM for the 7th time. But that was once to not be because the Congress didn’t win. So, saying the CM face ahead of vote casting doesn’t all the time assist. First, our MLAs must get elected and we need to get the needful numbers. Only after that, this query must be — and will probably be — addressed. Secondly, it’s after 40 years that anyone as opposed to Virbhadra Singh has grow to be the chairman of the marketing campaign committee. He used to carry this publish, grow to be the CM candidate and ultimately the CM as smartly. This time, we made up our minds to battle elections below collective management. Every chief has been assigned duties. Everyone has been instructed to paintings laborious and win the election. As for the CM candidate, we will be able to pass that bridge once we come to it.

But aren’t you within the race to be the CM?

See, I’ve given 40 years to the celebration, from the grassroots to the marketing campaign committee. I entered scholar politics on the age of 17 years. I’ve been the longest-serving NSUI (National Students’ Union of India) state head — six years — the longest-serving Youth Congress state leader — 10 years — and the longest-serving PCC president — six years. Also, I’ve been a councillor of the Shimla Municipal Corporation for 10 years. So, what the successful MLAs and the top command will inform me to do, I’ll do this as a real soldier of the celebration.

Your PCC president tenure was once marked by way of an acrimonious courting with the then CM Virbhadra Singh.

I’m dedicated to the celebration ideology. It was once all issue-based. There have been problems on which I supported him and there have been problems on which I adverse him.

Now that his spouse Pratibha Singh is the PCC president, will the previous bitterness come into play?

I pay due regard to the publish of PCC president. We will battle the elections unitedly.

It is claimed that Virbhadra ensured there was once no 2d line of management within the celebration. If he didn’t like a PCC president, he were given him shifted. What made you grasp your flooring in opposition to him?

Undoubtedly, integrity, fearlessness, braveness, truthfulness, loss of greediness, and political IQ.

The thought of the new reshuffle within the PCC was once floated remaining 12 months and also you have been mentioned to be at the back of it.

No, no. I underwent surgical operation for a tumour within the stomach within the first week of December. I used to be in Delhi. Out of our 18 MLAs on the time, 11 got here to investigate after me. Five of them have been Virbhadra loyalists. They additionally met the top command and driven my title for crucial position within the elections.

The BJP alleges there are too many factions within the Congress.

After the death of Virbhadra Singh, 90 in step with cent of the state Congress unit is united. Only 10 in step with cent discuss in several voices, which is a wholesome signal of intra-party democracy.

Will the Congress be capable to make the most of anti-incumbency in opposition to the Jai Ram Thakur govt?

Not most effective anti-incumbency, we will be able to additionally make the most of the non-performance of this govt, their hyperlinks with the (drug and sand mining) mafias, and their failure to generate employment and include inflation. We will win in a large means.

What do you’re making of the AAP’s access into Himachal Pradesh?

The Congress has safe democracy for the remaining 75 years. Every celebration has a proper to battle elections from anywhere they wish to. If the AAP has made up our minds to contest elections in our state, they’re maximum welcome to take action. But the electoral historical past of the state must be saved in thoughts. It has all the time been a competition between two events — the Congress and the BJP. There is any other important truth. Six or seven months ahead of each Assembly election, there all the time emerges a 3rd celebration or 3rd morcha, be it the past due Sukh Ram’s outfit or Maheshwar Singh’s outfit or the BSP (Bahujan Samaj Party) or the LJP (Lok Janshakti Party), however with out a lot electoral achieve. So, the AAP has an extended solution to pass within the hill state. They want to paintings laborious.

Recently, Khalistani flags sprang up in Himachal Pradesh …

These are diversionary techniques (of the federal government). If there may be one of these risk, the regulation must take its route.

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