Shimla (Himachal Pradesh) [India], December 9 (ANI): Himachal Pradesh supervisor of Congress and Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel on Friday said that the party's victory in the hill state is the first victory under the leadership of Mallikarjun Kharge as party president.
"Congress' win in Himachal assembly polls is the first victory under the leadership of Mallikarjun Kharge as party chief," Bhupesh Baghel said while speaking to ANI.
Baghel also lauded Congress leader and party general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and credited her campaign for securing the party's victory in the state.
He said that it is the victory of the people of Shimla and Congress leaders and workers. "Everyone worked hard. Priyanka Gandhi Vadra played the most crucial role, and we also had blessings of Sonia ji and Rahul Gandhi ji," said Baghel.
Baghel arrived in Shimla on Friday afternoon to participate in the Himachal Congress Legislature Party meeting, being held to finalize the name of the new chief minister of the hill state.
On being asked about the new CM's face, Baghel said that the party's high command will decide who will be the chief minister of Himachal Pradesh.
"There is no point in ignoring anyone; everyone has the right to make their point. We are here to hold a meeting with party legislators, and there should not be any difficulty. The party high command will take a final decision on the chief minister's post," said Baghel while speaking to ANI.
The meeting is scheduled to take place in the presence of in-charge Rajeev Shukla, and supervisors - Haryana's former chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda and Bhupesh Baghel, at the state Congress headquarters Rajiv Bhawan this afternoon.
Newly elected Congress MLAs are likely to pass resolutions and authorize the high command to take a call on the state chief minister's post.
"The party high command will take a decision on the chief minister's post," Congress leader and in-charge of the Himachal Pradesh Congress, Rajeev Shukla said while speaking to ANI.
Finalizing its chief ministerial candidate for Himachal Pradesh appears to be a big task for Congress with various aspirants in the fray including Pratibha Singh. Former state Congress chief Sukhwinder Singh Sukhu and CLP leader Mukesh Agnihotri are also seen as the other contenders for the post.
Congress returned to power in Himachal Pradesh after five years in the results announced on Thursday. The Congress won 40 seats in the 68-member assembly riding on anti-incumbency.
While Congress won 40 seats in Himachal Pradesh, the BJP won 25 seats. Independents won three seats and AAP failed to open its account in the state.
In terms of vote share in Himachal, Congress is only marginally ahead of the BJP has got 43.88 per cent of votes compared to 42.99 per cent of its rival. Others garnered 10.4 per cent vote share in the hill state.
Himachal Pradesh has a long tradition of alternating governments and Congress was on the right side of anti-incumbency. Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur resigned following the party's defeat in the polls. Notably, in the 2017 Assembly elections, the BJP formed the government by winning 44 seats while Congress secured 21 seats. (ANI)