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BJP releases Himachal candidates list; yet to declare choice of CM

Ahead of the assembly elections in Himachal Pradesh, BJP today released the list of its candidates. The party has announced 68 candidates for the forthcoming elections in the state. Among the top candidates announced include former chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal, who will be contesting from Sujanpur and current state BJP chief Satpal Singh Satti, who will be contesting from Una assembly seat. Dhumal has been the chief minister of Himachal Pradesh for two terms earlier and currently he represents the Hamirpur constituency. BJP has not yet mentioned a dedicated name for the chief minister’s post, but sources said that Dhumal could be the top choice. However, there are talks about JP Nadda as well, who is currently a Union minister. The names of the candidates were finalized last week during a meeting of the party’s central election committee.

The primary challenge for BJP in Himachal Pradesh will be Congress. Current chief minister Virbhadra Singh of Congress has decided to contest from the Arki seat, which is located in Solan district. Earlier, he had said that he will contest from Theog, but now he has changed his mind and will be contesting from Arki. The assembly elections in Himachal Pradesh will be conducted on November 9 and it will be a single-phase election. Counting of the votes will be done on December 18. In the existing assembly, Congress holds 36 seats whereas BJP has 26. The tenure of the current government will come to an end in January 2018.

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