Shimla, Dec 31 (UNI) The Congress' final tally to a respectable 23 in the Himachal Pradesh Assembly elections has more to do with the victory of its three associate members who succeeded where its heavyweight ministers failed.
Out of a total of five independents, who were Congress' associate members in the previous state assembly, four were successful in these Assembly Elections but only three have remained with Congress this time.
While Sohan All (Kasumpati), Subhash Manglate (Chopal), Kuldeep Singh (Bhattiyat) managed to win from their respective constituencies, Biru Ram Kishore (Geharwin) in Bilaspur district could not make to the Assembly in these elections.
However, Rakesh Verma from Theog constituency in Shimla district who was a Congress associate member in the last assembly, was denied Congress ticket.
He managed to win the elections as an independent for the second consecutive time.
It would have been a different game altogether if only five Cabinet ministers Ram Lal Thakur, Rangila Ram Rao, Sujan Singh Pathania, Raj Krishan Gaur and Kuldeep Kumar, besides Political Advisor to the Chief Minister Brij Bihari Lal Butail and former Revenue Minister Sat Mahajan's son Ajay Mahajan had won from their segments.
Besides, three former Cabinet Ministers in the state Congress Government, Sukh Ram, Harsh Mahajan and Sat Mahajan had refused to contest these elections on personal reasons.