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I have numbers: Veerbhadra Singh

Onkar Singh in New Delhi | March 04, 2003 10:00 IST

The Congress legislators of the Himachal Pradesh assembly will meet in Shimla at 1600 IST, Tuesday, to decide who will be the chief minister of the state.

Congress president Sonia Gandhi has deputed senior leaders Mohsina Kidwai, Motilal Vora and R K Dhawan to talk to the legislators and seek their views in this regard.

Former chief minister Veerbhadra Singh and Pradesh Congress Committee president Vidya Stokes are the two main contenders for the post.

The legislator from Shahpur in Kangra, Vijay Singh Mankotia, has also jumped into the fray saying that the chief minister should be from his region, which is a stronghold of the Bharatiya Janata Party.

Singh told rediff.com from Shimla that if the Congress president goes by the numbers there should be no difficulty in taking a decision.

"I believe that I have the numbers. I had twenty-nine MLA's till yesterday evening. This number went up to 34 on Tuesday morning," he said.

"I think the procedure that will be adopted will be fair and simple. The central observers will talk to the MLAs and know their response and then they will speak to the Congress president on phone and get her approval," he said.

Asked if there would be a deputy chief minister, he said he was opposed to the idea but would go along if the high command so desired.

"It is such a small state... it does not need a deputy chief minister... because then there would no end to the whole thing with each region demanding its share."

He said if at all a deputy chief minister is appointed, it should be from a backward caste.

He said his predecessors, right from Y S Parmar to Prem Kumar Dhumal, were opposed to the idea of having a deputy chief minister.

He also rejected the claim of Mankotia. "Out of the nine MLAs from Kangra, seven are with me. What is Mankotia talking about?"

Vidya Stokes on the other hand feels that the time has come for the state to have a woman chief minister. She has the tacit support of Kidwai and Ambika Soni on this issue.

All India Congress Committee spokesman Anand Sharma is going to Shimla just in case the central observers need to consult him. His supporters are trying to project him as an alternative between Stokes and Singh.

The Congress has 40 MLAs in the assembly.

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Number of User Comments: 2

Sub: HP C.M

Mr.Veerbhadra singh is right choice of voters of H.P. If Mrs. Stokes become the CM then it is a deceit with voters of H.P. Mrs. ...

Posted by sundeepgupta

Sub: regarding Himachal Pradesh C.M

It will more effective if the C.M will be from the lower of H.P

Posted by bhardwajsk


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