Congress to hold meeting of newly-elected Himachal MLAs in Shimla on Friday

New Delhi: The Congress has convened a meeting of all its newly-elected MLAs in Himachal Pradesh in Shimla on Friday and the meet is likely to pass a resolution authorising the Congress president to elect the CLP leader.

Earlier, the party had called all its MLAs to Chandigarh but changed its plans after the party got a clear majority in the assembly elections on Thursday.

AICC in-charge of Himachal Pradesh Rajeev Shukla said the Congress was happy that it is getting an opportunity to form the government in the state and asserted that the party will do everything to fulfill the 10 guarantees made to the people of the state and would provide better governance to people.

“The newly-elected Congress MLAs would meet in Shimla on Friday post-election results and decide on electing the new legislature party leader,” Shukla told PTI.

Sources said the MLAs are likely to pass a one-line resolution authorising Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge to decide the CLP leader. This has been the tradition in the Congress party, they said.

“The party is sending two observers — Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel and senior leader Bhupinder Hooda — along with me. We will be travelling to Shimla tomorrow where all the party MLAs have been called,” Shukla said.

“The election result trends are a happy thing for us and we are heading towards getting around 40 seats. We are confident that we are getting an opportunity to get power in Himachal,” he told reporters.

The party will fulfill the 10 guarantees that it has given to the people of the state and provide good governance to the people of the state, as was done during the past six terms when Virbhadra Singh was chief minister, he said, adding that the people are looking forward as they are fed up with BJP’s governance.

Earlier, Shukla had said that he along with Baghel and Hooda will travel to Himachal Pradesh.

“The results are still coming in … it is a victory of the people. With the blessings of God, if Congress wins, we will do everything possible for the interest of the people of Himachal Pradesh. Priyanka ji (Priyanka Gandhi Vadra) campaigned a lot, she worked really hard,” he told reporters.

Shukla said Priyanka Gandhi took the reins of the campaign in her hands and did a great job with it.

He also thanked Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge, former chiefs Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi and general secretary organisation K C Venugopal for their cooperation in poll preparations.

He said Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra had also had an indirect impact on the elections and among the people.

While Shukla is AICC in charge of Himachal Pradesh, Baghel was appointed senior observer for the polls.

Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge congratulated the people of Himachal and credited them and party leaders for the victory of his party.

“We heartily thank the people of Devbhoomi Himachal Pradesh. With folded hands, we congratulate all the sisters and brothers of Himachal Pradesh for expressing their faith in the Congress party. Congress party is committed to fulfill the 10 promises made to the people of Himachal Pradesh,” he said.

Kharge said the Bharat Jodo Yatra has also helped in this win and thanked former Congress president Sonia Gandhi for her support in these elections. He said it is a long journey ahead and “we will all sit together and discuss the way forward”.

“This victory is of all of you. Thank you Himachal Pradesh,” the party said in a tweet in Hindi from its official handle.

The Congress now will be in power in three states on its own and in as many others — Jharkhand, Bihar and Tamil Nadu — in alliance.

Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi tweeted in Hindi, “Heartfelt thanks to the people of Himachal Pradesh for this decisive victory. Hearty congratulations to all Congress workers and leaders. Your hard work and dedication are truly behind this victory”.

“I assure you again, every promise made to the public will be fulfilled at the earliest,” Gandhi added.

Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, who extensively campaigned in Himachal in Rahul Gandhi’s absence, congratulated the people of the state for ensuring the Congress victory.

“This victory is the victory of the resolution of the people of Himachal for the issues and progress,” she said, while lauding the role of all party leaders.

Himachal Pradesh Congress chief Pratibha Singh congratulated the people of the state for the party’s victory in the state.

“Hearty congratulations and best wishes to all the people of Himachal and party workers for the huge victory of the Congress in Himachal assembly elections. This is the victory of all of you,” Singh said in a tweet in Hindi.

Congress general secretary communications Jairam Ramesh said, “The Himachal Pradesh result is a definite morale booster for the Congress. The PM (Prachar Mantri)’s high voltage campaign in the home state of the BJP President failed significantly. The pledges made to the people of Himachal by the Congress will be fulfilled.”

Former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Kamal Nath said, “The beauty of democracy lies not in the power of any party but in the power of the people.”

Congress general secretary Randeep Surjewala congratulated people party workers. “Truth and progress have won while lies and deceit have failed,” he said in a tweet in Hindi.

The Congress has, however, not performed well in Gujarat where the BJP won a landslide victory.

“In democracy, there is victory and defeat. We humbly accept the mandate given by the people of Gujarat. We will continue to raise the day-to-day issues of 7 crore brothers and sisters of Gujarat in the role of an alert opposition. We will strengthen the organization afresh, this is our promise. We are with every citizen of Gujarat,” Kharge said.

“Without compromising on our ideology, we will keep fighting and remove our shortcomings. We will continue to fight. In a democracy there is loss and victory but we will try and will work on our shortcomings and will continue our ideological fight,” he added.

Jairam Ramesh said the result in Gujarat was disappointing.

“Congress was up against: a 3 party alliance of BJP, AAP & MIM; a campaign of provocative polarisation; machinery of state and Centre. Our voteshare gives us hope and confidence for rebuilding and revival. We are the only alternative in Gujarat,” he tweeted.