Former Himachal Pradesh chief minister Virbhadra Singh skipped a meeting of the Congress on Tuesday that was held for its Mandi Lok Sabha candidate, who is the grandson of his 'political bete noire', Sukh Ram.
Congress legislative party leader Mukesh Agnihotri, a close confidant of Virbhadra Singh, also skipped the workers' meeting organised in support of party candidate Aashray Sharma in Mandi.
The meeting was earlier scheduled to be held a few days ago, but was postponed for Tuesday with the hope that Virbhadra Singh would attend it. But both Virbhadra Singh and Agnihotri skipped it and preferred to relax at the former's residence in Shimla.
However, Virbhadra Singh's son, Vikramaditya Singh, attended the meeting.
Asked about not attending the meeting, Virbhadra Singh avoided a direct reply and said he would start campaigning in the state by attending a workers' meeting in Kangra next Monday.
The senior Congress leader also said he would share the dias with former chief minister Sukh Ram.
"If any such situation arise, I will definitely share the dais with him (Sukh Ram). Moreover, I don't have any differences with him like what has been talked about in the media. If the party has given its blessings to him and fielded his grandson, Aashray, from Mandi, I am fully with him," Virbhadra Singh said.
He added that he was personally against the 'aaya Ram, gaya Ram' politics. Sukh Ram had rejoined the Congress from the BJP last month along with Aashray Sharma.
Himachal Congress president Kuldeep Singh Rathore, Sukh Ram, former minister Kaul Singh, MLA Nand Lal, Rangila Ram, Prakash Chaudhary and Sohan Lal Thakur were present at the meeting.
Rathore and others claimed that the Congress was united and Aashray Sharma would win the election with a huge margin.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)