Sukhu is the fourth MLA for Naudaun in Hamirpur district. Agnihotri was elected from Haorli in Una district for the fifth time and was a minister in the past.
AICC incumbent Himachal Rajeev Shukla said they would be sworn in on Sunday and some ministers would also be appointed. The toilet will be expanded later.
Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel announced the decision of the CLP meeting, triggering an uproar from supporters of state Congress Speaker and MP Pratibha Singh, wife of ex CM Virbhadra Singh. They requested that her high command appoint her CM.
Baghel said the CLP passed a one-line resolution on Friday authorizing the congressional high command to select the CM. The high command selected Sukhu for the top post and Agnihotri as his deputy.
This is the first time Congress has selected someone from lower Himachal as CM. All previous CMs were from Shimla and Sirmaur districts. In another first, Himachal will have a deputy CM, seen as an attempt to appease the warring factions.
With both CM and his deputy belonging to the Hamirpur parliamentary constituency, the Congress high command appears to have shifted its focus to Union Minister Anurag Thakur’s turf. The BJP failed to win a single seat in Hamirpur district in the assembly polls.
In the 68-member assembly, Congress has 40 MLAs, BJP 25 and three others.
By virtue of the support of top MLAs, Sukhu won the top spot battle against Pratibha and Agnihotri. At some point, it was said that both Mukesh and Pratibha had combined to oust Sukhu from the race. But according to the numbers, central observers and the party’s high command made the decision in favor of Sukhu.
Sources said Pratibha lost the race as Congress fared poorly in his parliamentary seat, Mandi, in the assembly elections. In Mandi district, Congress won only the Dharampur assembly seat, while the BJP took the remaining eight.