"Didn't Get Land For Father's Statue": Himachal Congress Leader Breaks Down

Vikramaditya Singh said the 2022 election in Himachal were fought in the name of his father Virbhadra Singh, the Congress's tallest leader in the hill state

Vikramaditya Singh broke down at a press conference this morning


Amid a crisis for the Congress in Himachal Pradesh, party leader Vikramaditya Singh broke down while announcing his resignation at a press conference this morning, accusing the Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu government of disrespecting his late father, Virbhadra Singh.

Mr Singh said the 2022 election in Himachal were fought in the name of Virbhadra Singh, the Congress's tallest leader in the hill state and a six-time Chief Minister. "There was no banner or poster that did not have his photo. A day before the polls, a full-page newspaper ad had his photo with the message, 'Remember me, vote in my name'. This is a matter of record," he said.

The Congress leader then quoted the lines penned by the last Mughal emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar to express his anguish at being exiled by the British to Rangoon, where he later died: "Kitna hai badnaseeb Zafar dafan ke liye, do gaz zameen bhi na mili ku-e-yaar mein (How unlucky is Zafar that he did not get a small piece of land to be buried in the street where his beloved lives." In this case, Zafar was referring to his homeland.

"I am saying with a heavy heart that they (state government) could not find a piece of land on Mall Road to install a statue of the person on whose name we formed the government. This is the respect this government has shown to my late father," he said, fighting back tears. "We are emotional people. We don't care about posts. But a sense of respect that should be there... they could not do it despite repeated requests. It is very unfortunate. I am hurt, not politically, but emotionally. I do not know why it happened. I raised this issue with the party high command, but nothing happened. They should look into this. The people of Himachal are very emotional. Not everything can be seen through the prism of politics. As a son, I felt bad and I hope the party will take note of this," he said.

The Congress is firefighting a crisis in Himachal after six of its MLAs cross-voted in the election for a Rajya Sabha seat. The MLAs were later whisked away to a resort in Haryana's Panchkula and the BJP has now claimed that the Congress has lost the mandate to stay in power.

The party, which has 40 MLAs in the 68-member Assembly, has now rushed senior leaders Bhupinder Singh Hooda and DK Shivakumar to Himachal for damage control.

"From the recent political point of view of the developments that have taken place in Himachal Pradesh, it can be said that the state government has lost the moral right to stay in power," Leader of the Opposition Jairam Thakur has said.