Anyone can lead Congress in Himachal Pradesh, new line of leadership ready: Randeep Surjewala

SHIMLA: The Congress on Tuesday said a new line of leadership has emerged in Himachal Pradesh and anyone can lead the party after the election results are announced.

Claiming that the party was headed towards a two-third majority in the election-bound state, Congress general secretary Randeep Surjewala said chief minister Jai Ram Thakur would have difficulty in saving his own seat.

Commenting on the potential challenge being faced by the Congress in the absence of stalwart Virbhadra Singh, who was a six-term chief minister, Surjewala said change is the law of nature.

“A new line of leadership has already emerged in the Congress and anyone can lead the party,” he told reporters at a press conference here.

The Congress general secretary said the party was fighting the assembly polls under a collective leadership and the victory of the party would be the victory of each Congressman.

On AICC general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra being the face of elections in the hill state, he said, “She is our national leader and is spearheading the campaign. All other senior leaders are campaigning. Ours is a collective leadership.”

Asked about Rahul Gandhi’s absence from the poll canvassing scene in the state, Surjewala alleged that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is afraid of the Gandhi scion.

“Why is the BJP so afraid of Rahul Gandhi? Why is the BJP so afraid of even Rahul Gandhi’s name and his shadow?” he asked, noting that “the very fact that the BJP is so scared of him proves the point”.

Surjewala said Rahul will be here when the Congress government will be formed in Himachal Pradesh.

Asked about BJP’s attack on the Congress for making promises without considering its financial implications, he said, “The truth is that the pot is calling the kettle black.”

“The Congress has the economic wisdom, political sensibilities and a sense of proportionality. We know how to run governments and we have run governments in the past successfully and we shall be able to suitably implement our promises and guarantees. Those who are known as ‘jumlebaaz’ across the world should stop giving ‘gyan’ to us,” he said.

The Congress leader attacked the ruling BJP on rising prices of essential commodities and unemployment, saying 63,000 government posts are lying vacant.

He also accused the chief minister of failing on all fronts.

“He has proved to be a failed chief minister and is the most incompetent among all chief ministers in the country. If he has failed in the class, how can he be promoted?People of Himachal Pradesh will do the same with Jai Ram Thakur and it is time to show him the door,” he said.

On the old pension scheme, Surjewala said the saffron party is against it and that the Congress government has already announced it and people are getting pensions under the old system.


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