SHIMLA: With Congress witnessing a political crisis unfold in Rajasthan, former Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh hosted a lunch possibly in a show of strength for the Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) chief post here on Sunday.
The lunch party was attended by Singh's supporters while former PCC Chief Sukhwinder Singh Sukhu's faction skipped the gathering.
A few days ago, a similar "lunch diplomacy" was held at Congress leader Kaul Singh Thakur's house in which seven leaders participated after which they filed a complaint against Congress state chief Kuldeep Singh Rathore to the High Command. All the seven leaders involved in the "lunch diplomacy" opted out of Virbhadra Singh's lunch.
Sohan Lal Thakur, Sudhir Sharma, Asha Kumari, GS Bali, Ramlal Thakur did not attend Virbhadra Singh's lunch. Although the reasons for this could not be said, political factionalism is also being seen as a reason.
"This lunch has been organised to celebrate the birthday of Virbhadra Ji which could not be celebrated earlier due to some restrictions. It should not be linked to politics. Virbhadra Ji is a senior leader and I have his blessings," State Congress chief Kuldeep Singh Rathore said.
Leader of Opposition Mukesh Agnihotri, former minister Vidya Stokes, Congress state president Kuldeep Singh Rathore, Rajendra Rana, Mohan Lal Baragata, Kuldeep Pathania, Pawan Kajal, Nad Lal, Jagat Singh Negi, Harish Janaratha, Lakhwinder Rana, Thakur Singh Bharmaori, Chandra Kumar, Vinay Kumar, Kewal Singh Pathania, Chetram Mandi, former MLA Tek Chand Dogra, Prakash Chaudhary, Jagjivan Pal, Sanjay Ratna, Gangu Ram Musafir, Sanjay Ratan, Indra Dat Lakhanpal, Ajay Bahadur, Sundar Singh Thakur, Anirudh Singh, Vinay Kumar, Harish Janartha, Aditya Vikram And Yashwant Chhajta attended the lunch hosted by Virbhadra Singh.