Indian National Congress state unit announced a team of State Campaign Committee for Mandi Parliamentary by-poll. Chaudhary Birender Singh, MP, General Secretary, AICC (incharge Himachal Pradesh) will spearhead the campaign with Thakur Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu, President, HPCC, Virbhadra Singh, Chief Minister HP, Anand Sharma, Union Minister in UPA government, senior leader Vidya Stokes, Kaul Singh Thakur, Viplove Thakur and Former Union Minister and senior party leader Pt. Sukh Ram.
It is interesting to see that senior Congress leader Pt. Sukh Ram will campaign for Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh’s wife Pratibha Singh. However, earlier in 2009 general election, he had refused to campaign for Virbhadra Singh. He had then made excuse of being too old to campaign for Virbhadra Singh.
Pt. Sukh Ram and Virbhadra Singh haven’t shared good relations and after telecom scam, Sukh Ram had blamed certain Congress leaders for conspiring against him. With the widening differences with Singh, Sukh Ram had parted ways with the Congress in 1997 and floated regional political outfit Himachal Vikas Congress (HVC), which had dented Congress chances in 1998. However, in 2004, the HVC merged with Congress.
Pt. Sukh Ram had announced his retirement from active politics, but Political observers believe that the Congress candidate will gain from legacy of Sukh Ram in this poll.