New Delhi/Shimla, Oct 18 (IANS) Former two-time Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal will contest from a new seat Sujanpur while state BJP chief Satpal Singh Satti will re-contest from Una, according to the BJP’s list of candidates for the November 9 assembly elections released on Wednesday.
The BJP announced its list of 68 candidates but is silent on declaring the chief ministerial candidate.
The race for the top post is on between Dhumal and Union Minister J.P. Nadda.
The ruling Congress finalised its list too on Wednesday. It has fielded six-time Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, 83, who has been declared to lead the party to victory and as its chief ministerial candidate, from Arki, a new seat which Singh himself desired to contest.
BJP’s Dhumal has swapped his present Hamirpur seat with party legislator Narendra Thakur, who will now be the party candidate from the seat. The former launched his campaign from Sujanpur a day earlier.
The BJP list includes several former ministers, including Rajeev Bindal from Nahan and Narinder Bragta from Jubbal-kotkhai, a known apple belt in Shimla district.
Bragta faced a humiliating defeat in the last assembly election in 2012 from Congress youngster Rohit Thakur.
Former Congress cabinet Minister Anil Sharma, who had joined the BJP three days back, has been fielded from Mandi, the seat he represented in three consecutive terms.
Sharma joined the BJP along with his father and former Telecom Minister Sukh Ram.
“I have resigned from both the Congress and the government due to being deliberately ignored by the party. I and Pandit Sukh Ram ji were deliberately ignored at party Vice President Rahul Gandhi’s Mandi rally,” Sharma said after resigning from the Congress.
The BJP and Congress lists came two days after the process of filing nominations started for the assembly polls. The last date of filing nominations is October 23.
Former BJP cabinet ministers Kishan Kapoor and Ramesh Dhawala, who faced defeat in the last polls, have been declared candidates by the party in this election too. They are contesting from Dharamsala and Jawalamukhi seats respectively.
Kapoor, who will face Congress cabinet Minister and sitting legislator Sudhir Sharma, was feeling ignored in the ticket allocation.
At a public rally in Dharamsala two days ago, Kapoor, a four-time legislator from Dharamsala, became emotional and could not control his tears. Several of his supporters were also crying and asked him to contest the elections as an Independent.
Indu Goswami, BJP Mahilla Morcha president and known for proximity with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has been declared candidate from Palampur, the hometown of Member of Parliament Shanta Kumar. She is in the fray for the first time.
BJP’s Rakesh Verma is contesting from Theog, the seat represented by eight-time legislator and Congress veteran Vidya Stokes, 89.
Earlier, Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh had announced that he would contest from Theog in Shimla district. The Congress is yet to declare its candidate from this seat.
Singh had earlier announced he would field his son Vikramaditya Singh from Shimla (Rural), the seat he is representing. This will be his son’s maiden contest if the Congress allots him the ticket from there.
The BJP has fielded Congress rebel Pramod Sharma from Shimla (Rural).
The BJP has axed the tickets of four sitting legislators and has fielded 12 new faces.
The party has dropped legislators Govind Ram (Arki), B.K. Chauhan (Chamba), Anil Dhiman (Bhoranj) and Rikhi Ram Kaundal (Jhanduta).
It has fielded six women candidates, including five new faces and a sitting legislator Sarveen Chaudhary.
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