Does Virbhadra mean retirement?



Shimla (Oct 27): A day after the Congress high command in a way gave an indication to anoint Kaul Singh Thakur as its next chief ministerial candidate by giving him another stint as state party chief, five-time Chief Minister and current Union steel minister threw a surprise on Wednesday when he hinted at quitting honourably.

While Union finance minister Pranab Mukherjee had a day ago indicating that he will not be part of any government at the end of his present tenure due to age factor, Virbhadra said the same applies to him as well. “I will be completing 50 years in public life soon. I wish to say that I will quit honourably. It’s better to quit before people vote you out,” the 75-year-old Congress veteran said in New Delhi.

Facing corruption charges back home in Himachal, Virbhadra has been finding himself cornered in his own party with not much say in selection of Congress office-bearers in the state. While his wife was denied a ticket in the last Assembly elections, he himself faced some embarrassment when his name was not announced in the first list of ministers when the current Congress government took over. Interestingly, he had been putting up a strong fight till now, devoting most of his time to his home state, therefore it remains to be seen what his latest statement really mean.

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