Sobered by the defeat, Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh on Friday resigned after his Cabinet recommended the dissolution of the state assembly, which he maintained for long he would not do but continue in power till March when its term was to end.
Shortly after the results were declared, a meeting of the Cabinet, presided over by Singh, recommended the dissolution of the 10th assembly to pave way for constitution of a new assembly and to usher in a new government.
Then he faxed his resignation to Governor V S Kokje. Keeping in view the greatest traditions of the democracy and the Congress party, the cabinet took this decision, the Chief Minister said in a statement virtually eating his words during the elections that Constitutionally he had a right to continue till March.
One of his cabinet colleagues - Sat Mahajan - even had approached the Himachal Pradesh High Court for a stay of the counting of votes till March.
Accepting the verdict of the people, Singh congratulated BJP's chief ministerial candidate Prem Kumar Dhumal and his party for victory. He hoped the BJP government would continue the developmental work in the state. Singh said the Congress would discharge its duty as responsible and constructive opposition in the assembly.