Congress to review HP issue, but CM change unlikely

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NEW DELHI: Congress leadership is set to take a serious look at the Himachal chief minister‘s post in coming days. The party appears reluctant to effect a change in CM-ship before Lok Sabha elections, but is seemingly helpless to a large extent because it has not been able to gauge how deep the rot is in the state unit.
The uncertainty has created a piquant situation and, sources said, the issue will be reviewed in coming days.
Sources said the disgruntled MLAs told the leadership’s emissaries that Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu should be replaced. But CM is said to be unwilling to step down and has expressed confidence that he can weather the storm while also being accommodating towards those opposed to him. He has also claimed majority support in the legislature party.
Well-placed sources said there appears to be a reluctance to go for a change of CM ahead of polls “as it can complicate the matters besides sending a wrong message to voters at large”. But the party is having to deal with two imponderables – if the rival camp can grow in coming days, and, importantly, what is BJP‘s ultimate objective in the present crisis. The survival of govt is the party’s priority.
A key issue being watched is how the six rebels, who cross-voted in Rajya Sabha elections and were disqualified from the assembly, react in the coming days. If they seek review of their disqualification, the court order would be of critical importance. Sources said the party hope is they agree for a compromise, which could pave the way for their accommodation and burying of hatchet by clipping the wings of chief minister.
Else, Congress brass may have to bite the bullet. Earlier this week, sources said the disgruntled legislators detailed to the special observers Bhupinder Hooda, Bhupesh Baghel and DK Shivakumar the reasons behind their resentment against CM. Sources said minister Vikramaditya Singh and his mother and state unit chief Pratibha Singh also told observers that CM should be replaced but, interestingly, did not lay claim to the top post.
According to an insider, the crisis had appeared to be on course to resolution on Wednesday night till the six MLAs refused to return without an immediate announcement that chief minister would be replaced.



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