Virbhadra to brief Congress leaders on poll debacle
Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh is heading to Delhi to apprise the top leadership of the reasons for the state party's drubbing in the Lok Sabha polls, party leaders said here Monday.
Virbhadra Singh will leave for Delhi Tuesday.
Sources said the chief minister is likely to meet Congress president Sonia Gandhi and vice president Rahul Gandhi Tuesday evening.
"The chief minister is going to Delhi to meet the party high command and apprise them of the reasons for the defeat," a senior minister told IANS.
He clarified the chief minister was not summoned by the party top bosses.
The Congress lost all four Lok Sabha seats to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The losing candidates included the chief minister's wife Pratibha Singh.
A section of Congress leaders, including legislators, has demanded the chief minister should accept responsibility for the defeat and resign.
But Virbhadra Singh, who is chief minister for a record sixth time, said it was simply a "Modi wave" that demolished the Congress.
"It was simply a Modi wave that went in the favour of the (opposition) BJP," Virbhadra Singh told reporters in Shimla May 16, the day the poll results were declared.
He ruled out his resignation following his party's crushing defeat.
When told that Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi offered to resign, taking moral responsibility for the electoral defeat, Virbhadra Singh said: "He may have some compulsions, but I don't have any."
A day after the May 7 polling in the state, the chief minister admitted the pick-and-choose policy adopted vis-a-vis the rebels could go against the party.
"Had the party opened its doors to all the rebels who were keen to rejoin the party, the prospects of our nominees would have brightened," Virbhadra Singh had said.
Said a party leader: "It is simply over-confidence... that went against the party. Power was confined to a few leaders."
Over the past two decades, voters in Himachal Pradesh have traditionally favoured the ruling party during general elections. It is for the first time the electorate has acted differently.
The pro-BJP wave was so strong that the party led in 59 of the 68 assembly constituencies.
Even in the chief minister's Shimla (rural) constituency, the opposition got a lead of over 1,700 votes.
(Posted on 19-05-2014)