Wednesday, 13 December, 2017

BJP and Congress finalize candidates for Himachal polls

BJP announces list of candidates for Himachal Pradesh election yet to declare CM contender Himachal Pradesh Elections 2017: In a bid to ace Congress, BJP's Prem Kumar Dhumal spreads wings to Sujanpur
Howard Terry | 20 October, 2017, 00:30

While the Congress has declared that six-time Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, 83, to lead the party to victory and as its chief ministerial candidate, the BJP appears to have chose to contest the upcoming assembly elections in Himachal Pradesh without declaring a chief ministerial face.

This time both political rivals are trying their luck from new seats.

Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, who was supposed to contest from Theog after the seat was vacated by leader Vidya Stokes, has been fielded from the Arki constituency in Solan district.

The BJP's Central Election Committee (CEC) had met on Saturday to approve the list of candidates. Despite any reservations arising from the pending corruption CBI and ED cases against Singh, the move, a leader says, "is evident acknowledgement of the fact that Virbhadra Singh is still the tallest and most popular leader in the Congress". He is also planning to hold a road show and start his campaign from there. There has however been no announcement regarding the state unit chief, Sukhvinder Singh who is at loggerheads with the CM.

From this seat, the BJP ignored sitting legislator Govind Ram and allotted ticket to Pal.

Prem Kumar Dhumal, two-time chief minister and current leader of the opposition is contesting from a new seat, Sujanpur. The last date for filing nominations is October 23. Singh had two days ago had said that Vikramaditya will contest from his Shimla (Rural) seat. He was once known as a close aide of Virbhadra Singh. Congress will be announcing the official list at the earliest. The remaining nine are likely to be announced on Friday. This would help the Congress give a befitting reply to the BJP. Himachal Lokhit Pary secured 1 seats while Independents won 5 seats in the 2012 assembly polls. While Nadda is busy at the Centre, Jamwal is not contesting as Dhumal has ensured that Gulab Singh Thakur got the ticket from Jogindernagar, belying all expectations. Also awaiting the party nod to contest the November 9 elections is Champa, the daughter of Thakur, who is keen on contesting from the Mandi seat.

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