Virbhadra offers to resign from Cong panels on HP polls

Virbhadra offers to resign from Cong panels on HP polls

Trouble is brewing in Congress in poll-bound Himachal Pradesh with senior leader Virbhadra Singh offering to resign from party committees constituted for the state assembly elections later this year.

Peeved over his exclusion from the AICC screening committee headed by Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dixit to select candidates for the elections, Virbhadra has offered to quit from three other panels formed by the party for the HP polls, sources close to him said.

Virbhadra, a five-time chief minister, has offered to quit from the campaign committee, which he is heading, and two other panels on drafting of manifesto and strategy, they said.

The sulking Congress leader has skipped important meeting of strategy panel at Shimla today which will be held under Congress general secretary and in-charge of state affairs Chaudhary Birender Singh.

Meanwhile, Singh denied reports that Virbhadra has tendered his resignation, while PCC chief Kaul Singh Thakur dismissed suggestions that he was being ignored in the Assembly elections.

"Virbhadra is our respected leader, there is no question of ignoring him," Thakur said over phone from Shimla.

The sources said Virbhadra, the prominent face of Congress in the state, had yesterday met Ahmed Patel, political secretary to Congress president Sonia Gandhi.
AICC general secretary Digvijay Singh met Virbhadra today in an apparent bid to mollify him.

Virbhadra, who recently resigned from Manmohan Singh cabinet in the wake of a Shimla court order in a CD case related to corruption, had earlier this week skipped a meeting of party manifesto committee held under Chairmanship of Union Minister Anand Sharma in New Delhi.

Sharma is a known detractor of Virbhadra in state politics.
The term of 68-member Himachal Assembly will end in December.

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