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Himachal: Congress adopting different yardsticks on party rebels

Denies entry to seven-time MLA Musafir but welcomes back former Youth Congress chief

Himachal: Congress adopting different yardsticks on party rebels

Gangu Ram Musafir



Tribune News Service

Ambika Sharma

Solan, May 1

Factionalism appears to be at play with different yardsticks having been adopted to take back party rebels by the Congress in Sirmaur district.

The party lost no time in taking back its former Youth Congress president Manish Thakur who had joined the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in 2022 ahead of the Assembly elections. He had unsuccessfully contested the Paonta Sahib Assembly election in 2022 and secured 5,090 votes. He was re-inducted into the party in the presence of the Chief Minister at Rajgarh nearly a fortnight ago.

Congress has, however, stalled the entry of seven-time MLA GR Musafir who had contested against the Congress official candidate Dyal Pyari from Pachhad Assembly seat leading to her defeat as the party’s voter share had split.

The Congress had lost both the Pachhad and Paonta Sahib seats to the BJP while it won the remaining three seats in Sirmaur district.

Though his entry into the party fold was welcomed by the Pradesh Congress Committee president Pratibha Singh few days ago it was stalled later on the plea that his case was yet to be cleared by the All-India Congress Committee.

Musafir is, however, campaigning for Congress nominee Vinod Sultanpuri hoping to be re-inducted soon. He also attended Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu’s rally held at Rajgarh on Friday where Manish Thakur re-joined the party.

While Congress leaders maintain his case was delayed merely because his file was awaiting clearance, there is something more than meets the eye. Since he was suspended from the party for six years for indulging in anti-party activities, a section of partymen is opposing his re-induction.

Musafir had marred the chances of Congress official candidate Dyal Pyari in the 2022 Assembly elections by contesting as an Independent. It was also known that he had contested at the behest of the Congress leaders opposing the candidature of Sukhu as the CM.

It is known that the party’s state in-charge Rajiv Shukla had been apprised about his unsavoury utterances against senior leaders after being denied the party ticket. This has peeved the concerned leaders thus stalling his smooth re-induction.

Having lost four elections in a row, Musafir had little choice but to come back into the Congress and campaign for the party candidate. It remains to be seen when the party decides on his re-induction as the Congress was endeavouring to muster the support of all its leaders to wrest the Shimla Lok Sabha seat from the BJP. He had secured 13,187 votes in the 2022 Assembly elections and had fared at the third position.

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