Virbhadra vs Bali: Cong CM race hots up

Bali

Senior Congress leader and All India Congress Committee party-in-charge for Himachal, Birender Singh on Thursday projected G S Bali, who contesting from Nagrota Assembly constituency, as the party's chief ministerial candidate.

He also suggested that the party high command has faith in Bali, a party stalwart from Kangra, spelling trouble for former chief minister and Pradesh Congress president Virbhadra Singh who is also nursing ambitions of becoming the chief minister. "If BJP can make Shanta Kumar, a leader from Kangra, the chief minister, you all should also work day and night and support Bali to make him reach the top," Birender said while addressing a rally in Nagrota.

As he got up to address the rally organised by Bali's supporters, he was greeted by slogans such as, Humara CM kaisa ho, GS Bali jaisa ho (Who should be our CM, he should be GS Bali), Bali ji ke vaaste, kar do saaf raaste (Clear the ways for GS Bali).

Birender said: "If Bali wins, you will not be required to raise such slogans." He said Bali was a vital pillar of the Congress in the state and it was on his insistence that "we included a provision in the manifesto that every student completing 10+2 will be given Rs 1,000 a month as allowance till she secures a job".

Laying emphasis on the fact that Bali has implicit support of the party high command, he said that during her trip to Kangra two days ago, Sonia Gandhi called Bali and spoke to him. "Why did she do so? It is evident. She told Baliji to get out of Nagrota and campaign campaigning in other constituencies as well to help party secure an absolute majority," he said to a huge applause from the gathering, dominated by women and youth.

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