CLP meeting in Shimla: Virbhadra

Virbhadra Singh, who has emerged as the top contender for the post of chief minister, on Thursday said the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) meeting will be held in Shimla and not in Delhi. "Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde has been appointed as observer for the meeting of new MLAs. No date has been fixed for the meeting but it will be held in Shimla, nowhere else," Virbhadra said.

His detractors, however, want the meeting to be held outside Shimla Delhi or Chandigarh so that others could throw their hats in the ring. "We will discuss the issue with central leadership and fix the meeting. We haven't yet decided on the venue," said Congress general secretary Birender Chaudhry.

Others who are in the race to become the CM are Kaul Singh Thakur and Vidya Stokes.

Union Commerce Minister Anand Sharma is also being wooed by a section of party leaders. "Virbhadra had to resign from the Union cabinet on corruption charges," said an MLA.

Celebrations at Holy Lodge

Holy Lodge, the residence of Virbhadra Singh, became the scene of celebrations with Congress workers and his supporters bursting crackers and distributing sweets. In the evening, Virbhadra supporters from Rohru and adjoining areas reached his residence carrying goats for for community feast a tradition in the hills to celebrate major occasions and victories.

CII congratulates Cong

Congratulating the Congress party for an impressive victory in the state, Adi Godrej, president of CII, said, "The clear mandate provides a great opportunity for the new government to take necessary and bold measures for development of infrastructure and industrial clusters in the state."

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