CHANDIGARH: Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh and his Haryana counterpart Bhupinder Singh Hooda are facing the heat after the disastrous performance of the Congress in their states in the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections.
Virbhadra Singh was in Delhi on Tuesday to apprise the Congress high command of the reasons for the party’s debacle in the general polls. The Congress lost all four seats, including Mandi where CM’s wife Pratibha Singh contested, in Himachal to the BJP.
According to sources, some state Congress leaders, including a few MLAs, have asked the Chief Minister to accept responsibility for the defeat and resign. “We lost the election owing to poor governance and lack of coordination between the government and party. The party kept dithering about its expelled leaders, including five former legislators, because of differences between the CM and state party president Sukhvinder Sukhu,” said a Congress leader. He said the BJP regained the ground lost in the 2012 Assembly elections by opening the doors for the party rebels.
According to former Congress general secretary Kuldip Rathore the Lok Sabha result was a mandate against the government. Virbhadra Singh, however, attributed the defeat to Modi wave and ruled out his resignation.
Meanwhile in Haryana, where the Congress has been in power since 2004, the party could win only one of the 10 seats, largely due to the anti-incumbency factor.
Many Congress leaders, including Venod Sharma, have already left the party. After a clear mandate in favour of the BJP, many others are also expected to desert the party, putting Hooda at the receiving end.
Hooda couldn’t explain to the people why his party leaders such as Kumari Selja chose Rajya Sabha rather than re-contesting the Ambala Lok Sabha seat that the BJP has won.
Birender Singh, Hooda’s detractor, has indicated that he was for a change in leadership to prevent a repeat performance in the Assembly elections.