'Not in race': Congress leader seen as Himachal CM frontrunner, then a BJP swipe
Himachal Pradesh assembly election news: The Congress secured 40 of 68 seats in the hill state.
The Congress's Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu on Saturday dismissed the speculation on him being viewed as a frontrunner in the race for the Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister post. The grand old party - after a handsome win in the hill state on Thursday - is holding deliberations to fill the top post. Apart from Sukhu, Mandi MP Pratibha Singh and former leader of Opposition Mukesh Agnihotri were being viewed as frontrunners, HT had reported earlier.
Speaking to news agency ANI, Sukhu also took a swipe at the BJP. "Himachal Pradesh will have the most stable government of the Congress. Forty members of the party were elected and three other MLAs have pledged us their support. We're 43 MLAs. Nobody will break away from Congress but from the BJP. They only set narratives. In the times to come, 6-7 BJP MLAs can come to Congress," he was quoted as saying. Stressing that he was never in the Himachal CM race "neither yesterday, today or even in future", he asserted: "I'm a Congress worker and I've always worked as a worker. I've never desired a post. Congress had made me the state party chief. Party gave me a lot, and it's my duty to abide by their order."
On Friday, the party had passed a resolution, and stressed that the decision of picking the state's next CM would be of the top leadership. “The one-line resolution was passed unanimously and the party’s observers – Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel and former CM of Haryana Bhupinder Singh Hooda – would submit their report to the party high command on Saturday." Rajiv Shukla told reporters. The meeting of newly-elected MLAs was held a day after the declaration of results in the state.
"All 40 MLAs took part in the CLP meeting today and all have unanimously passed the proposal to leave the decision to select the CM of the state on party high command," Shukla underlined. "Media reports that there is a division inside the party are absolutely wrong," he added.
The BJP has got 25 of 68 seats in Himachal Pradesh while it has retained Gujarat for a seventh straight term.
(With inputs from ANI)