Congress puts up a united face in Himachal Pradesh as Pratibha Singh takes over as chief of state unit

A widow of six-time former CM late Virbhadra Singh, Pratibha Singh was appointed president of Himachal Pradesh Congress Committee in place of Kuldeep Singh Rathore

Indian National Congress flag
Indian National Congress flag
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Bipin Bhardwaj

The Himachal Pradesh unit of the Congress on Thursday put up a united face with senior party leader Pratibha Singh formally taking over as president at an impressive function held at Chaura Maidan in Shimla which also kick-started the party’s campaign for the Assembly elections.

A widow of six-time former Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh late Virbhadra Singh, Pratibha Singh (66) was appointed president of Himachal Pradesh Congress Committee in place of Kuldeep Singh Rathore.

Pratibha is a third-term MP from Mandi and her victory in incumbent chief minister Jai Ram Thakur’s home turf further coagulated her claim for the post. Her appointment as HPCC chief has also set aside factionalism.

All senior leaders of the party joined the rally in the presence of Rajeev Shukla, CWC member and in-charge of HP Congress unit.

Besides outgoing state party president Kuldeep Rathore, chairman of Election Campaign Committee Sukhwinder Singh Sukhu, CLP leader Mukesh Agnihotri and all party MLAs and party office-bearers attended the rally to mark the taking over of the reins by Pratibha Singh.

All four working presidents – Harsh Mahajan, Rajinder Rana, Pawan Kajal and Vinay Kumar – who were recently appointed, were also present on the occasion.


Addressing the gathering, Shukla said the presence of all senior leaders at Shimla indicated that the party cadres were energised to take on the BJP.

“Everyone, even those who have not joined here, should come together as the Congress is all set to win the polls,” he said.

Shukla said that the Gandhis, who have a special fondness for Himachal Pradesh, had given the responsibility of ensuring the return of the Congress to power in the state to Pratibha Singh, Agnihotri and Sukhu.

Shukla said there was no need to keep reiterating about unity as the party is one, barring one or two who have now been left behind.

“The fight is not for the chair but to get the party back to power as it is the party high command which will decide who will be the CM,” said Shukla.

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