Shimla: Former India cricketer Madan Lal on Thursday faced more trouble in Himachal Pradesh as senior Congress leaders, including former chief minister Virbhadra Singh, came out openly against his nomination from the Hamirpur Parliamentary constituency.
The five-time chief minister and candidate from the Mandi seat charged "certain vested interests" within the party with being hand-in-glove with Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal of the Bharatiya Janata Party and helping him by fielding a weak candidate against his son (sitting MP Anurag Thakur).
"I would personally request the party high command to reconsider its decision regarding allotment of the ticket to Madan Lal," Virbhadra Singh told reporters in Mandi town.
INTERNAL STRIFE: Congress members say some sections within the party are 'with BJP' and so are fielding a weak candidate like Madan Lal.
He held Congress Legislature Party leader Vidya Stokes, legislators G S Bali and Sukvinder Sukhu and Minister of State for External Affairs Anand Sharma responsible for fielding Madan Lal.
Expressing concern over the resignation of party leaders in Hamirpur in protest against not allotting the party ticket to Narinder Thakur, who had left the BJP to join the Congress, he said the party high command should "respect public sentiments for Narinder Thakur".
Himachal Pradesh Congress Committee President Kaul Singh Thakur, however, said that some of the party leaders did not want Narinder Thakur nominated for the seat.
"A section of party leaders have a feeling that he (Narinder Thakur) is a new entrant to the party. But there is no harm in giving him the chance as he knows much about the Dhumals," he said.
Anurag Thakur won the by-election in May 2008 by 174,666 votes. He is a former cricketer too, having represented Punjab in the Ranji Trophy.
Meanwhile, Madan Lal reached Himachal Pradesh on Thursday and met some party leaders. He also visited the Naina Devi temple to pray.