The Congress today announced its first list of 59 candidates for the November 9 Himachal Pradesh Assembly polls, with Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh being fielded from the Arki constituency in Solan district.
The Congress today announced its first list of 59 candidates for the November 9 Himachal Pradesh Assembly polls, with Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh being fielded from the Arki constituency in Solan district. The list was finalised after a marathon meeting of the Congress central election committee chaired by party president Sonia Gandhi. Nominees for the remaining nine seats, including Shimla (Rural), would be announced later. According to media reports, Singh had earlier said that he wanted to contest the election from a seat which the Congress has not won in previous polls. Arki in Solan district was won by the BJP in the previous two Assembly polls. State Congress chief Sukhvinder Singh Sukkhu has been fielded from the Nadaun seat, which the latter had unsuccessfully contested in the previous election to the 68- member Assembly.
The chief minister’s son, Vikramaditya’s name did not figure in the first list. Singh had two days ago had said that Vikramaditya will contest from his Shimla (Rural) seat. Late Ayurveda Minister Karan Singh’s son, Aditya Vikram, is in the race from Banjar constituency. Singh passed away in May this year. The Congress has fielded all its senior state leaders for the election. Rajya Sabha MP Viplove Thakur will contest the election from the Dehra Assembly segment, which she had lost in 2012.
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. The Congress has not declared candidates for the remaining nine Assembly constituencies given there are many aspirants, party sources said. The seats include Kullu, Palampur, Mandi and Theog.
Party veteran Vidya Stokes was supposed to contest from Theog. But Stokes announced quitting politics today. Assembly Speaker Brij Behari Lal Butail is currently representing the Palampur seat. Former Union minister Sukh Ram’s son Anil is currently representing Mandi. But he has quit the party and joined the BJP, which has already fielded him from the same seat.