Shimla: Ahead of assembly elections, former union minister and five-time Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh has been appointed Himachal Pradesh Congress president, replacing Kaul Singh, party leaders said on Sunday.

"Virbhadra Singh's name has been cleared for the post of PCC (Pradesh Congress Committee) chief," a party leader, who declined to be named, told.

He said Virbhadra Singh would meet party president Sonia Gandhi in New Delhi on Monday. Two-time state Congress chief Kaul Singh told that he has resigned. Party sources said that he would be "suitably accommodated" in the party after the four-day monsoon session of the state assembly, which is starting on Monday.

He is likely to be appointed Congress Legislative Party leader, a post currently held by Vidya Stokes. Party leaders said the central leadership has offered the post of governor to Stokes but she is not keen on quitting state politics.

Virbhadra Singh, who met Gandhi twice, last week, had been sulking for the past few weeks over the formation of some election related panels for the state. Himachal Pradesh is scheduled to go to polls by November.

Elected five times as the chief minister of Himachal Pradesh, Virbhadra Singh is considered in party circles as the leader with maximum potential to pull crowds in the state.

He resigned as the union minister for micro, small and medium enterprises in June in the wake of a Shimla court order in a 23-year-old corruption case.


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