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HP crisis: Sukhu takes responsibility for Singhvi's defeat; differences ironed out, says DK Shivakumar

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SHIMLA: Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu has taken responsibility of Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi's defeat in the Rajya Sabha polls, party's central observer DK Shivakumar said on Thursday.

Shivakumar also said that the central observers have spoken to Sukhu, party MLAs and state unit chief Pratibha Singh and all differences have been ironed out.

Addressing the media here along with the other party observer, Bhupinder Hooda, Shivakumar said the Congress government would last a full term in Himachal when asked if Sukhu would continue as CM.

When reporters pressed for an answer to the query about Sukhu's continuation as CM, Hooda said, "Why are you asking a hypothetical question when Sukhu is the CM."

He also said it has been decided to form a coordination committee to sort out all internal matters and that no leader would go to the press.

Public Works Department Minister Vikramaditya Singh, who offered to resign on Wednesday and later said that he would not press for his resignation, will attend the cabinet meeting later in the evening, the observers said.

First priority of the Congress is to maintain discipline, they said, adding the government has proved its majority in the House and all the party MLAs and other leaders have resolved to work together.

The announcements by the Congress' observers came after Himachal Pradesh Assembly Speaker Kuldeep Singh Pathania disqualified six Congress MLAs who had cross-voted in the recent Rajya Sabha polls for the lone seat in the state.

Earlier, Pratibha Singh, who had been raising the concerns of the Congress leaders, said that disqualification of six MLAs could have been avoided had the grievances of rebel MLAs been redressed. She said it was unfortunate that the Congress lost the Rajya Sabha elections.

The party is strong and differences have been resolved, the Himachal Congress chief said, adding the committee would ensure coordination between the state government and the organization.

"The challenge is to win all four seats in Lok Sabha polls for which we have to work hard," she added.

The Congress government is stable and would continue for five years and the rebel Congress MLAs who contested on Congress ticket and were bought would not be able to face the public, said Sukhu.

However, he maintained that "these MLAs are our brothers and mistakes could be forgiven if they wish to come back but we are unable to contact them as their mobile phones are not reachable".

He accepted that there were shortcomings on his part as well as intelligence and said that he takes responsibility.

Referring to rumours regarding his resignation, Sukhu said it was a conspiracy to reduce the number of Congress MLAs during voting on the Budget and that "I had earlier clarified that I have not resigned".

(THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS)

53 Days ago