Shimla: Eyeing the upcoming assembly poll in Himachal Pradesh, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi today asked state party leaders and workers to close ranks and put up a united show at the hustings.
The Congress had lost the last assembly election in Himachal due to infighting and this should not be repeated this time, he told several closed-door meetings of the party functionaries in Kullu town.
Party sources said the Congress general secretary told workers and leaders that recommendations of block, district and state Congress committees would be given weightage while allocating tickets.
"Paratroopers will not be accommodated," Rahul said on a two-day visit to picturesque Kullu.
He hinted the tickets would be allocated in advance to enable candidates to have adequate time for campaigning, the sources said.
Rahul stressed the need for unity during separate meetings with senior Congress leaders, BCC and DCC presidents, MLAs and ex-MLAs, and NSUI members.
The Congress leader was accompanied by Union minister Anand Sharma and AICC general secretary in charge of Himachal Birinder Singh.
VB Singh, who has been appointed chairman of party's campaign committee, Leader of the Opposition in Himachal Assembly Vidya Stokes and HPCC chief Kaul Singh Thakur were among others who attended the meetings.
Former chief minister VB Singh, facing charges of conspiracy and corruption in a 23-year-old case, said he would come out clean but this would take some time.
"The charges against me are flase and concocted and I will come out clean but it will take some time," he told the meeting.
Last month, the former Union Minister and his wife were slapped with charges of conspiracy and corruption in a 23-year-old case by a special court.
Singh said he would honestly discharge his duties as head of the the campaign committee and ensure victory of the party at the hustings.