Cong announces candidates for 3 Himachal seats | punjab | Hindustan Times
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Cong announces candidates for 3 Himachal seats

punjab Updated: Mar 14, 2014 09:06 IST
Gaurav Bisht

The Congress central election committee that met in Delhi on Thursday afternoon announced its candidates for three of the four Lok Sabha seats in Himachal Pradesh.

These are Kangra, Mandi and Shimla; the candidate for Hamirpur will be announced soon.

Chief minister Virbhadra Singh managed to secure tickets for wife Pratibha Singh from Mandi and for loyalists, former MP Chander Kumar from Kangra and Rohru MLA Mohan Lal Brakta fron Shimla (reserved).

State party chief Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu had to face disappointment as he was gunning for Vinod Sultanpuri's candidature from Shimla.

The Congress committee did not announce the ticket for the Hamirpur seat, which has become a prestige issue for both Virbhadra and Sukhu.

While Virbhadra is backing Rajender Rana, independent legislator from Sujanpur, Sukhu opposed Rana's candidature and advocated a ticket for Mukesh Agnihotri.

Sources in the Congress committee told HT that in the evening the committee asked Sukhu to give up the idea as Mukesh had declined to enter the fray. So Sukhu had no choice but to back Rana. A formal announcement for the seat could be made late in the night or on Friday when the Congress announces its third list.

Both Virbhadra and Sukhu on Wednesday had held deliberations with members of the party's central election committee in the presence of Congress general secretary Ambika Soni, in-charge for party affairs in Himachal.

Profiles of candidates
Chander Kumar, 70, Kangra
Former Kangra MP is a Virbhadra loyalist; was elected to the14th Lok Sabha by defeating former CM Shanta Kumar by 17,791 votes. Belongs to OBC; twice remained cabinet minister in the state.

Pratibha Singh, 58, Mandi
The sitting Mandi MP is Virbhadra's wife. She was elected to the 15th Lok Sabha by winning the by-election in 2013 by 1, 36,724 votes. Earlier, she was elected to the 14th Lok Sabha in 2004 from the same seat.

Mohan Lal Brakta, 49, Shimla (reserved)
A political greenhorn, was backed by Virbhadra; elected to the state assembly for the first time in 2012 by a margin of 28,415 votes. Earlier, he was a practising lawyer at the HP high court.