Election of Shimla MC Mayor, K C Venugopal rushes to Himachal 

All India Congress committee held a meeting in New Delhi today to discuss the election of Shimla MC Mayor and Deputy Mayor as the Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu and Congress state President Pratibha Singh met at Himachal Bhavan Delhi yesterday and also discussed the election of the new Mayor and Deputy Mayor with the party high command today. As it has been stated that the party returned to power in the city government on May 4 after a gap of 11 years and won 24 seats in 34 member houses.

According to party sources AICC Secretary K C Venugopal is likely to rush to Himachal Pradesh today after a meeting held between  Smt Pratibha Singh and Mr Sukhu who transpired about the possible choice of a new Mayor and Deputy Mayor. There are reports that the post of Mayor would be given to the senior-most male councilor and the post of Deputy Mayor may be rotated after a gap of two and half years between woman and man councilor. The party is in affix after the number of woman members in 34 member Shimla MC is 21. Now the party has deployed Mr. K C Venugopal to take the final oppinion of party-elected councilors before announcing the name of the new Mayor and Deputy Mayor.

Also, there is a buzz in the town for Uma Kaushal as a front-runner contender for the post of Mayor , she has won elections three times in a row 2012, 2017 & 2023. She belongs to the Kaushal family of Tutikandi who have never lost any election since 1986. Congress got the maximum leads in the current Vidhan Sabha elections from the same ward. It will be good to see if women’s power is able to exert pressure over neighborhood loyalties and have a women mayor this time, currently the criteria of placement in congress politics is loyalties and friendship as per the observers.

It is worthwhile to mention that there is also churning in the party’s high command about the induction of three vacant posts of Minister in the Sukhvindre Singh Sukhu Government. The three berths of cabinet minister is yet to be filled moreover Deputy Chief Minister Mukesh Agnihotri was also asked by the AICC to come to Delhi today. 

There is a lot of speculation in the power circles about the post of Dy CM and CPS which is filled by the Sukhvinder Singh Government and also challenged in the High Court by the opposition BJP. There is also deep furor among the party leader over anti-party activities by some of the party senior leaders against whom the party high command may take action.

Due to infighting and undercutting some of the senior councilors have lost the Shimla MC elections by shifting party votes to BJP councillors. The party could not bury its difference in the factions led by Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu and Pratibha Singh. As Party could win only a lone seat in the Mandi district in recent assembly elections from where Congress president Pratibha Singh is MP.  

Similarly, there are reports that Three-time councilor Jintender Chaudhary who was the party district Shimla president lost the Shimla MC poll by more than 300 votes from Mennu Chauhan of BJP.  Party also lost the election in five wards of the Kasumpti assembly out of 12 wards in Shimla MC also shows that Chief Minister managed to win the Shimla MC election however antiparty factions tried to defeat the Congress. 

Does Congress want to change state organizations like BJP in the state, there is speculation that AICC is not happy with the information that the party did not fight the united face  Shimla MC election and efforts are being made to create friction in the party unit. After the toppling of a number of Congress governments by the BJP in the country it could not allow any rift in the state organization and the Congress government and party high command recently adopted a strategy to give one post and berth to each party leader and if Ms. Pratibha Singh is keen to fight MP election from Mandi she must leave the party president posts. 

The party’s high command is not happy with her the way she has projected her as Chief Ministerial candidate after the party wins the assembly election in 2022. AICC was in favor of Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu but the Pratibha Singh tried to project her as CM’s face. It is worthwhile to mention here that Ms.  Pratibha Singh would not be in town tomorrow as she would undergo eye surgery in Chandigarh. 

There are also speculation that three Congress MLAs Mr Sudhir Sharma, Rajinder Rana, and Rajesh Dharmani may be elevated as new minister if there is any change in the state party leadership to strike the balance in the state party leadership. Among those who could be led, the party includes Thakur Kaul Singh, Ram Lal Thakur, and Kuldeep Rathore.  

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