Ahead of next year’s polls, Sonia Gandhi discusses roadmap in Himachal with state leaders


Congress President Sonia Gandhi met with senior Himachal Pradesh leaders on Tuesday and reviewed the party’s preparations for the Assembly elections next year.

Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Tuesday urged party leaders in Himachal Pradesh to remain united to address the challenges ahead of assembly polls next year and noted that the party lost out in recent state elections only because of disputes among local leaders, sources said

Chairing a meeting of party leaders from the hill state, she said indiscipline should not be there and leaders should not air their differences in public.

The leaders are learnt to have discussed the roadmap ahead in the wake of the poll debacle in five states. They told the Congress president that the organisation in the state requires a change by infusing fresh blood, with some even calling for a change of guard in Himachal Pradesh.

Gandhi, however, did not say if any changes are on the anvil in the state.

Around 24 leaders from the state met Sonia Gandhi in the evening and the meeting lasted around two hours.

Gandhi heard all the leaders and asked them to remain united and not air their differences in public,” a source said.

She told the leaders that the Congress has a base in Himachal Pradesh and the party members must work hard 24X7 to ensure that a Congress government comes to power in the hill state in next year’s elections.

The emergence of AAP in Punjab was also raised by some leaders and its ripple effect could be seen in Himachal as the two states share borders.

Some leaders also raised the issue of Himachal Pradesh being BJP chief JP Nadda’s home state and the BJP ”using all its force” to retain power in the hill state.

The sources said an organisational overhaul in Himachal is on the cards, which may happen soon.

Among the leaders who attended Tuesday’s meeting with Sonia Gandhi include PCC chief Kuldeep Rathore, CLP leader Mukesh Agnihotri, AICC in-charge for the state Rajiv Shukla, besides AICC Secretaries Sanjay Dutt and Tejinder Bittu.

Senior party leaders Pratibha Singh, Anand Sharma, Asha Kumari, Kaul Singh Thakur, besides former PCC chiefs, former MPs and other key leaders were also present during the meeting.

The state leaders were to earlier meet Rahul Gandhi but the meeting was shifted to Sonia Gandhi’s residence, who chaired it.