Sukvinder Sukhu in Delhi to discuss Himachal bypoll picks as BJP names candidates - Hindustan Times

Sukvinder Sukhu in Delhi to discuss Himachal bypoll picks as BJP names candidates

By, Shimla
Jun 15, 2024 05:02 AM IST

BJP declared the candidates for the three Himachal bypoll seats, fielding the three independents whose resignation had necessitate the elections

Chief minister (CM) Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu rushed to New Delhi to finalise candidates for the bypolls to three assembly segments — Hamirpur, Nalagarh and Dehra.

Himachal CM Sukvinder Singh Sukhu (HT File)
Himachal CM Sukvinder Singh Sukhu (HT File)

The bypolls, which were necessitated after the Speaker accepted the resignation of three independent MLAs, will be held on July 10. The results will be announced on July 13.

Bharatiya Janata Party late night on Thursday declared the candidates for the three seats, fielding the three independents on party tickets.

Sukhu, meanwhile, will hold consultations with the party’s central leadership. “If they have announced the tickets, so will the Congress,” he told media persons in Delhi.

The CM, who was accompanied by Bhoranj legislator Suresh Kumar, added, “The elections are significant for the state, the public has to decide now as to why the three independents resigned, they had the options, they could have either supported BJP or Congress. The public has already given a befitting reply to turncoats in the June 1 bypolls as the Congress won four of the six seats. We have a full majority in the House now.”

Congress leader Rajesh Sharma is the frontrunner for the ticket from Dehra. He had unsuccessfully contested the 2022 assembly elections from Dehra. The Himachal Pradesh Building and Other Construction Workers Welfare Board chairperson Nardev Kanwar, considered a close aide of the CM, is also a contender for the ticket.

Pushpinder Verma, who quit his government job to join politics, is again vying for a ticket from Hamirpur. The son of former industries minister Ranjit Singh Verma, he had lost to independent candidate Ashish Sharma in the last assembly elections. Sunil Sharma (Bittu), Sukhu’s political advisor with cabinet rank, and former MLA Kuldeep Singh Pathania, who is currently the chairperson of the Kangra Central Cooperative Bank (KCCB) are among the other aspirants from Hamirpur.

Hardeep Singh Bawa is also eyeing a ticket from Nalagarh. He had contested as a Congress candidate in 2022, but lost to KL Thakur.

The party is also in consultation with former Congress MLA Lakhvinder Rana, who won the assembly polls from Nalagarh as a Congress candidate in 2017, but contested as a BJP candidate in 2022. Earlier, Rana had also won a by-election from Nalagarh seat in 2011 as a Congress candidate.

BJP had late on Thursday fielded the three independent MLAs for the bypolls.

Ashish Sharma, the Hamirpur MLA, a first-time legislator, KL Thakur and Hoshiyar Singh had supported the BJP’s Rajya Sabha candidate Harsh Mahajan in the February elections with six other Congress rebels. The three independents later resigned from the assembly and joined the BJP.

A two-time MLA from Nalagarh, Thakur first made it to the assembly in 2012 on a BjP ticket. He was an executive engineer in the irrigation and public health department (now Jal Shakti) before taking a plunge into electoral politics. He lost the election to Congress’ Lakhwinder Rana in 2017 and contested the 2022 election as an independent from Nalagarh and won.

Hoshiyar Singh is a Mumbai-based businessman who contested elections from Dehra for the first time in 2017. He was elected as an Independent and held on to his seat in 2022.

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