India

Virbhadra meets Rahul twice

Virbhadra meets Rahul twice

New Delhi: Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh today met Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi and is learnt to have discussed about the differences he has with PCC chief Sukhwinder Singh Sukhu in his bid to avert a possible crisis ahead of state assembly elections.

Sources said Rahul met Virbhadra twice during the day and is believed to have discussed the way forward after the chief minister took hard positions for Sukhu’s ouster.

During the meetings, party general secretary in-charge of Himachal Pradesh Sushil Kumar Shinde and AICC secretary Ranjeet Ranjan were also present.

Virbhadra has openly demanded the removal of Sukhu as PCC chief saying this was “non-negotiable”. He told some party leaders in the state that if this is not done he would neither campaign nor contest the upcoming state assembly elections.

Himachal Pradesh goes to polls later this year.

Sources also said that Rahul has planned a visit to Mandi in Himachal Pradesh on October 7 and has asked Virbhadra to be there together with the other state leaders to present a united face.

Virbhadra skipped a Dalit sanmelan yesterday near Shimla, which was organised by the AICC and attended by Shinde and Sukhu.

While there was no official word either from the Congress or from Virbhadra as to what transpired during today’s meetings, sources said the party leadership and Rahul are trying their best to convince the chief minister not to take hard positions.

Sources added that Rahul has told Virbhadra to take everyone along in the interest of the party and help in making the party victorious.

Amid a possible crisis looming large in the hill state ahead of elections, the Congress leadership is doing everything to avert it and is placating the grand old man of Himachal Pradesh politics.

–PTI