BJP and Congress finalize candidates for Himachal polls

Former chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal and Himachal Pradesh BJP chief Satpal Singh Satti are among the party candidates, a list for which was announced on Wednesday, for the state Assembly polls.

SHIMLA: If the BJP's list of candidates for Himachal assembly polls is any indicator, the party's central leadership has gone by the recommendations of its old warhorse and leader of opposition Prem Kumar Dhumal.

Dhumal has opted for a new constituency, Sujanpur, this time instead of his current assembly constituency of Hamirpur.

The Congress is also yet to decide its candidate for Mandi where the BJP has fielded Anil Sharma who deserted the party and went into the BJP fold. There has however been no announcement regarding the state unit chief, Sukhvinder Singh who is at loggerheads with the CM.

Both Dhumal and Singh are Thakurs and this could have been a reason for the BJP giving prominence to the former chief minister in this election.

The Congress has fielded all its senior state leaders for the election.

Suspense still continues over allocating ticket to Virbhadra Singh's son Vikramaditya Singh, who is eagerly awaiting his electoral debut from Shimla (Rural), the seat his father won with a record margin of 19,033 votes in 2012. If the Congress wins, it would be his seventh term as the chief minister.

Virbhadra Singh has been fielded by the Congress from Arki while state party chief Sukhhu from Nadaun and former state party chief Viplova Thakur, a Rajya Sabha member, from Dehra.

The Congress high command after assessing the surveys and field reports was keen that party pitches heavyweights from those constituencies where the party had lost election for a decade.

With two holidays coming in between, October 23 is the last date for filing nominations for the elections on November 9.

Other senior leaders including AICC secretary Asha Kumari, Kaul Singh Thakur, G S Bali, Mukesh Agnihotri and Gangu Ram Musafir will contest from Dalhousie, Darang, Nagrota, Haroli and Pachchad, respectively.

  • Rogelio Becker