New Delhi [India], April 26 (ANI): In significant decisions in Himachal Pradesh which will go to the polls later this year, the Congress on Tuesday appointed Pratibha Virbhadra Singh as chief of the party's state unit and Sukhwinder Singh Sukhu as chairman of the campaign committee.
The party has retained Mukesh Agnihotri as the leader of its legislative party in the state assembly.
The party also appointed steering committee, manifesto committee, coordination committee and election management committee as part of its preparations for the assembly polls.
Pratibha Virbhadra Singh is the wife of former Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, one of the tallest leaders of Congress in the state who passed away in July last year.
The party has sought to strike a balance among various caste groups in the state and accommodated its senior leaders.
Former Union minister Anand Sharma has been appointed as chairman of the steering committee and former Himachal Pradesh Minister Asha Kumari as its convenor.
The 10-member Steering Committee includes former state Congress chief Kuldeep Singh Rathore, Dhaniram Shandil, Viplove Thakur, Kaul Singh Thakur, Ram Lal Thakur, Chander Kumar, Suresh Chandel, and Harshwardhan Chouhan.
Harsh Mahajan, Rajinder Rana, Vinay Kumar and Pawan Kaushal have been made vice-presidents.
The manifesto committee will be headed by Dhaniram Shandil with Ashish Butail as its vice-chairman.
Former Himachal Pradesh Minister Kaul Singh Thakur will be chairman of the coordination committee, whereas Ram Lal Thakur will head the election management committee.
In the last assembly election, the BJP won 43 seats in the 68-member assembly. Congress won the bypolls to Mandi Lok Sabha seat and three assembly seats in November last year.
Apart from the traditional rival BJP, the Congress also has to contend with Aam Aadmi Party which is trying to pose a challenge in the state after its victory in Punjab. BJP's successive victory in Uttarakhand has boosted its morale for the Himachal Pradesh polls. The state has seen alternative governments by Congress and BJP over the past over three decades.
Pratibha Virbhadra Singh, who is MP from Mandi, thanked party chief Sonia Gandhi and party leader Rahul Gandhi for appointing her as the state party chief and said she will work with dedication and devotion.
She also expressed confidence in the party forming government in the assembly elections.
"Many thanks to Congress President Sonia Gandhi ji, Rahul Gandhi ji for making me the President of Himachal Congress. I will fulfil the responsibility entrusted to me with full dedication and devotion. We will form the Congress government in Himachal in 2022. Jai Congress Jai Bhimakali," she said. (ANI)