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Announce chief minister candidates early: Virbhadra

Himachal Pradesh,Politics, Tue, 10 Apr 2012 IANS

Shimla, April 10 (IANS) Union Minister of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises and Himachal Pradesh Congress leader Virbhadra Singh Tuesday asked the party high command to declare the chief ministerial candidate before assembly elections in the state later this year.


"The high command should declare the chief ministerial candidate well in advance as its experiment in Punjab of announcing the candidates just a few days before the polling didn't work well for the party," said five-time former Himachal chief minister Singh here.


"The people of the state (going to polls) want to know who will be the chief ministerial candidate. The high command should change its strategy (of announcing the candidates after the polls)," he said, indirectly hinting the party to clear the air about who will be the party's candidate in the forthcoming elections in the state.


It was a virtual parade of strength at the union minister's private residence here with 16 out of the 23 Congress legislators and equal number of former legislators present to back their leader ahead of assembly polls.


"It was a meeting to discuss about how to bring the Congress back into power in the state. People of the state would not forgive us if we fail to achieve this. For this, everyone in Congress agrees that we have to be united," Singh said.


He said his supporters also wanted to celebrate his 50 years in politics in Shimla June 23 (his 77th birthday).


Asked about his plans to be the chief minister again, Virbhadra Singh said: "I am at the disposal of high command. Whatever responsibility I am given, I will do that."


He accused Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal of indulging in illegal land deals.


The union minister disbursed a document containing details of alleged transfer of land in the name of Dhumal's sons, including Hamirpur Member of Parliament Anurag Thakur.


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