End of road for Virbhadra, but son rises

It looks like curtains for six-term Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh in Himachal Pradesh where Congress lost to the BJP.

Published: 19th December 2017 04:14 AM  |   Last Updated: 19th December 2017 08:51 AM   |  A+A-

Virbhadra Singh celebrates with his son in Shimla on Monday | PTI

Express News Service

NEW DELHI/CHANDIGARH:It looks like curtains for six-term Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh in Himachal Pradesh where Congress lost to the BJP.But Virbhadra, 83, ensured his son Vikramaditya Singh, 28, won from his old seat Shimla Rural even as he shifted to Arki and defeated BJP’s Rattan Singh Pal.

Singh had already declared this would be his last election. His son’s entry in active politics would mean a generational shift in the state Congress. It coincides with the party’s change of guard, where Rahul Gandhi became party president two days ago.

“I will not contest the next elections. I have fought many political battles,” he said. When asked about Vikramaditya, Virbhadra said the latter has to make a career and work. “I hope Vikramaditya keeps winning in future, like he won today,” he said.Vikramaditya was disappointed with his party’s performance. “As a son, I am sad we could not make it possible for my father to become the CM for a seventh time. We will analyse the reasons for our defeat,” he said.

Though Virbhadra enjoys a state wide following, old age and ill health would keep him out of active role.
He has had serious differences with state unit chief Sukhwinder Singh Sukhu. How they will play out now that the party has been ejected from power is yet to be seen. A series of corruption charges against him would also continue to bother the Congress veteran.Sources said the situation started to change for Virbhadra in the early 1990s when his wife Pratibha Singh stepped into active politics.


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