BJP, Cong. fail to finalise Himachal list

Former Himachal Pradesh chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal

Union minister Nadda is not even on the list while two-time former CM Dhumal will fight from Sujanpur; elections for the 68 seats will be held next month.

The list was finalised after a marathon meeting of the Congress central election committee chaired by party president Sonia Gandhi.

The state goes to the polls on November 9 and results will be announced on December 18.

The BJP is hopeful of getting a majority due to what it perceives to be an anti-incumbency sentiment against the Virbhadra Singh-led Congress government.

BJP's Dhumal has swapped his present Hamirpur seat, the pocket borough of the BJP, with party legislator Narendra Thakur, who will be the party candidate from the seat.

The 03 BJP women who will contest the Himachal Pradesh 2017 polls as BJP candidates are Shashi Bala from Rohru, Kamlesh Kumari from Bohranj and Reeta Dhaman from Indora. Himachal Lokhit Pary secured 1 seats while Independents won 5 seats in the 2012 assembly polls.

The chief minister's son, Vikramaditya's name did not figure in the first list. Being a senior leader, party insiders claim that he has been included in the list ruling out possibility of any confusion about who will be the party's chief ministerial candidate.

Arki is now represented by BJP MLA Govind Ram Sharma.

BJP has fielded Rakesh Verma, the son of former top cop of Himachal Pradesh and chairman of HP Public Service Commission, R R Verma which Singh had close personal and family relations.

The full list of BJP candidates can be found here. Congress rebel Pramod Sharma, who too had joined the BJP, has been fielded from Shimla (Rural).

Vijay Jyoti Sen, sister-in-law of Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh's wife Pratibha, and former Congress leader Pawan Nayyar have been given tickets from Kusumpti and Chamba. The last date for filing nominations is October 23.

The Congress on Wednesday announced its first list of 59 candidates.

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