By : Arvind Sharma
Ex Cabinet Minister and five time MLA from Shahpur, Major Vijay Singh Mankotia finally extended support to Congress for the Lok sabha poll, but CM Virbhadra Singh’s Loyalist Kewal Singh in the Shahpur constituency came under his fire.
Kewal Singh Pathania, (who was the congress candidate in 2007 and got only 14.09 % of polled votes to lose the deposit), is now the Chairman of forest corporation and considered to be as one of the few loyalists of Virbhadra Singh.
Speaking to press in Dharamshala on Tuesday, Mankotia said, “I was side lined by the state government after the Vidhan Sabha poll 2012, where I helped to manage to revert back 7.8% votes polled for BSP in 2007 (responsible to throw Congress out of power in state).”
Mankotia headed the BSP campaign in 2007 in Himachal when he (Mankotia) was expelled from Congress over the release of controversial CD against Virbhadra Singh. Virbhadra Singh again took Mankotia back to Congress in 2012 and gave him Congress ticket from Shahpur, where he (Mankotia) lost to BJP. “I was back bitten by a loyalist of Virbhadra, to ensure my defeat, and the same man was given high ranked political posts, and I was kept at a bay,” said Mankotia. He said that he (Mankotia) kept mum for more than 15 months of the period of this government, in wait of some good deed of the present state government. But he was ignored in the ex-servicemen rally organized by Rahul Gandhi at Tanda earlier this month. Whereas, Mankotia is Chairman of ex-servicemen league.
Mankotia said that he decided to continue support to Congress after Virbhadra Singh, CM’s son Vikramaditya Singh and Chander Kumar came to his house and insisted him to do so. He said that he had a party men meeting at Shahpur on Tuesday and decided to work hard to give Congress candidate a big lead in the constituency. Mankotia said, “The voters of the area passed a resolution to ask CM to remove the self styled Congress leader (Kewal Singh) and his group of the constituency, which is defaming the party by their bad deeds.”
When asked that if the CM once again ignore him after the poll, Mankotia said, “Than we will show the party our rough face after the elections.” He said that beside Congress AAP party candidates for Kangra, Rajan Sushant, BJP candidate Shanta Kumar also visited my house to get my support.”
Mankotia said that he will meet Virbhadra Singh on 17 th April at Dharamshala during the nomination of Congress candidate of Kangra constituency Chander Kumar to convey the feelings of voters of Shahpur constituency.