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Vikramaditya Singh does a U-turn; First resigns, later says won't press for it

Himachal Pradesh's Public Works Minister said the central observers have assured him that his concerns would be taken care of.
Last Updated 28 February 2024, 16:46 IST

Shimla: Amid a fresh scramble for power in the state, Himachal Pradesh Public Works Minister Vikramaditya Singh on Wednesday announced that he is quitting from the Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu cabinet but hours later he said that he will not press for his resignation.

"I am submitting my resignation to the chief minister and the governor," he told reporters in the morning.

Several hours later after meeting with the central observers, Singh said he would not press for the resignation.

"I have offered my resignation but the chief minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu has not accepted it," he said.

Vikramaditya Singh said the central observers have assured him that his concerns would be taken care of and he is not pressing for the resignation, and added that the organisation is more important than individuals.

"In the larger interest, I will not press for my resignation," he told mediapersons.

Earlier, he had said there have been attempts from some quarters to humiliate and undermine him and, in spite of reservations, he supported the government.

Troubles have been mounting on the Congress since Tuesday, when it lost the sole Rajya Sabha seat to the BJP with six of its members cross-voting in the poll.

Vikramaditya Singh, as he announced his resignation, said he was "deeply hurt" with the transpiring going on over the past two days and said there is a need to ponder what went wrong for the Congress.

He said he has apprised Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge and party leaders Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and Rahul Gandhi of the developments. The ball is now in the party high command's court, he added.

"The Congress party had made promises to the people and we owe the responsibility to fulfil those promises. I would decide my future course of action after consulting my supporters," Vikramaditya Singh said.

He said the 2022 assembly elections in the state was fought in the name of former chief minister Virbhadra Singh, also his father.

"There was no poster or hoarding or banner which did not carry his picture. There was a full-page ad with his picture in the newspapers a day before voting," he said.

But after the victory, when the matter of installing his statue arose, the government failed to decide the location.

"It is not a political but an emotional thing for a son," Vikramaditya Singh said.

He also quoted a couplet by the last Mughal Emperor of India Bahadur Shah Zafar: "Kitna hai bad-naseeb 'Zafar' dafn ke liye, do gaz zameen bhi na mili kuch-e-yaar mein."

Fissures in the Congress has come to fore with some party leaders openly criticising the functioning of the Sukhu government.

Vikramaditya Singh has been raising his concerns about functioning of the government while state Congress president Pratibha Singh, his mother, had been repeatedly pressing for rewarding the dedicated leaders of the organisation, who worked hard for the victory of the party.

She even said party leaders and MLAs are unhappy as their concerns are not being addressed.

Earlier, upset over the omission of some sections in the budget, Vikramaditya Singh had blamed negligence on the part of some officers and said they had taken strong cognisance of it.

He had told the PTI that multi-purpose workers of the public works department (PWD) have been left out in the budget and no reference has been made regarding the job-seekers sitting on dharnas for early declaration of results, a day after budget was presented.

Two of the six Congress MLAs who cross-voted for BJP candidate Harsh Mahajan on Tuesday - Rajender Rana and Sudhir Sharma - were also vocal against the government and had supported the protest by the candidates awaiting declaration of results of several posts.

Congress MLA from Sujanpur assembly seat, Rajinder Rana, had shot a letter to the chief minister saying that even after 14 months of formation of the government, the youths are still waiting for jobs.

"We had promised to provide employment to one lakh youth every year. The youth of the state are eagerly waiting for the fulfillment of that promise", he had said in the letter also posted on Facebook.

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(Published 28 February 2024, 16:46 IST)

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