Factionalism has once again came to the fore during the visit of Congress general secretary Sushil Kumar Shinde to Dharamsala yesterday. Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh warned “black and white crows” in the party while addressing the party workers at the SAI indoor stadium here . The Chief Minister said that everybody knew who the “white and black crows” in the state Congress were.
The HPCC president Sukhwinder Sukhu had a grim face while the Chief Minister was emphasising on his newly framed phrase. “The party is more threatened from backstabbers rather than the Opposition. The party needs to defeat them in the party and they should not have any place in the party”, Virbhadra said mincing no words.Earlier the term ‘black sheep’ in the Congress made headlines with party MLA Neeraj Bharti using it several times. The Chief Minister had reached Dharamsala yesterday itself for the event and personally supervised the arrangements for today’s event.With the Chief Minister touching the issue of factionalism in the party, Shinde also spoke on the issue.After the Chief Minister’s remarks, Shinde, who was sitting on stage with other Congress leaders of Kangra and Chamba districts, said that infighting in Congress not a new thing.“This is not the first time that I am party in charge of Himachal. In 1992 also I did the same job. Sukh Ram and Virbahdra Singh were known for the rift with each other”, he said. He further added that at that time the condition was even worse.“When we were in meeting in room, there used to be a huge rush of people outside. They kept predicting a sure brawl inside”, he said. But people at that time still brought Congress to power, he added.He urged the leaders to put a united face of the sake of the party. “Now we are all moving in one direction. There are no disagreements between us”, he said.HPCC president Sukhwinder Sukhu, however, avoided talking about factionalism. He concentrated his speech on the issue of development carried out by the present Congress government.The Chief Minister’s group in Kangra put up its show of strength. The posters displayed at the venue and other places in Dharamsala carried the photographs of all MLAs of others.The photographs of G S Bali, Minister for Food and Civil Supplies, Transport and Technical Education were missing from the posters. Bali has organized a separate program in Nagrota Bagwan for Shinde tomorrow.Congress MP from Bihar, Ranjeeta Ranjan, the co-convener of Congress in state, while addressing those gathered at the function, flayed the policies of the present NDA government and said that the poor were suffering under this dispensation.Congress ministers and MLAs, including Sujjan Singh Pathania, Thakur Singh Bharmouri, Sudhir Sharma, Jagjivan Pal, Ajay Mahajan, Sanjay Rattan, Kishori Lal, Yadwinder Goma and independent MLA Pawan Kajal, were present.Earlier Shinde was welcomed at Gaggal airport by Virbhadra Singh and other Congress ministers.