Oct 24, 2012 at 10:09pm IST

Graft charges could hit Virbhadra's chief ministerial ambitions

Shimla: Congress chief ministerial candidate Virbhadra Singh on Wednesday lost his temper at the media. However, after a rap from the Congress leadership in Delhi, came the U-turn and an apology. The Congress is no doubt worried. In the small state of Himachal Pradesh, the stakes are big for the party at the Centre. Aware that in Gujarat, it could be a virtual no-show for the party, a win in Himachal offers the only hope.

However, the latest allegations against the Congress's chief ministerial candidate in the state, during his tenure as the steel minister has put the spotlight on Sonia herself as she buckled under Virbhadra's pressure to make him the state party chief and accepted his choice of candidates for the polls.

Denying all allegations, Virbhadra Singh has, however, said that he hopes a CBI inquiry into the VBS Ispat controversy and an I-T inquiry into the LIC payments and accounts would clear the air.

Ridden by infighting, the Congress in Himachal Pradesh definitely did not want these difficult-to-answer issues to hit its top leader just ahead of the polls. The Congress's hands are, however, tied as Virbhadra remains its the tallest leader in the state. For Virbhadra, however, the worry could be that these allegations may put a question mark over his chief-ministership, should the Congress come to power.