Party to chalk out reasons for dismal performance.
New Delhi: Congress president Rahul Gandhi will be visiting Shimla on Friday to assess the election results. After the dismal performance of the party in the state, the party unit of Himachal Pradesh is meeting to chalk out the reasons of its performance. After meeting party functionaries and newly elected MLAs, Mr Gandhi will be addressing a workers meeting in which he will be outlining his vision for the party. This will be the first visit of Mr Gandhi to the state after taking over as president of the party.
Interestingly, Mr Gandhi has already visited Gujarat, where elections were simultaneously held with Himachal Pradesh. In Gujarat also, he had interacted with the newly-elected party MLAs and office bearers of the state unit. The Congress, in its internal assessment, found that the party had not done well in the urban areas.
While in Himachal Pradesh, factionalism is being blamed as the major reason of defeat for the Congress. The former chief minister, Virbhadra Singh, and the state unit chief, Sukhwinder Singh Sukhu, were at loggerheads. So much so that Virbhadra Singh, before the elections, had threatened not to contest elections or campaign for the party.
The Congress high command, after several rounds of meetings, had given a free hand to Mr Singh. Mr Gandhi, while addressing a rally in Himachal Pradesh, had backed Mr Virbhadra Singh. Now, in the internal assessment meeting, reasons will be probed for the dismal performance. Mr Virbhadra Singh, along with other senior leaders of the party, will be present. General secretary incharge of the Congress, Sushil Kumar Shinde, will also be present.
Interestingly there were sharp exchanges between Mr Shinde and Mr. Virbhadra Singh during the election campaign in the state.