Lok Sabha Elections 2019: Congress, BJP in dilemma over tickets for Himachal seats
While the BJP is in a fix over selecting candidates for Mandi and Shimla Lok Sabha constituencies, Congress has not been able to find a nominee for all four parliamentary seats- Mandi, Shimla, Hamirpur and Kangra.Updated: Mar 19, 2019 15:16 IST
With Himachal Pradesh going to polls on May 19—the last phase of Lok Sabha elections—ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and opposition Congress are facing a big dilemma over ticket distribution in Himachal.
While the BJP is in a fix over selecting candidates for Mandi and Shimla, Congress has not been able to find a nominee for all four Lok Sabha seats- Mandi, Shimla, Hamirpur and Kangra.
The BJP was initially keen to renominate all the sitting MPs in the upcoming elections, but was forced to reconsider its decision after aspirants in Mandi and Shimla staked claims.
In Mandi, former Union minister Sukhram’s grandson Ashray Sharma has been vying for a ticket for long. Other contenders are former MP Maheshwar Singh and Kargil veteran Brigadier (retd) Khushal Thakur.
The party also finds itself on a sticky wicket in Shimla where former IAS officer Hira Nand Kashyap, another ticket aspirant, has openly expressed displeasure over the party’s desire to field the sitting MP.
As per sources, the survey conducted by the party has put the sitting Mandi MP Ram Swaroop Sharma, who is considered close to the chief minister, and his Shimla colleague Virendra Kashyap on a weak footing.
Amid the tug-of-war for ticket in both the constituencies, former MP Maheshwar Singh and Thakur recently met the national leadership in Delhi.
Ticket confusion grips Congress
Meanwhile, Congress is facing a tough task in finalising candidates in all four parliamentary seats. Race is tough in Kangra where former MP Chander Kumar, former ministers GS Bali and Sudhir Sharma have thrown hat in the ring. Dalhousie legislator and AICC secretary in-charge for Punjab, Asha Kumari is also among the contenders.
In Mandi, former CM Virbhadra Singh, who has refused to contest the polls himself, is considering to field his son, Shimla (rural) legislator Vikramaditya Singh.
Meanwhile, the meeting of party’s screening committee, held in Delhi on Sunday, ended in vain, with no concrete outcome.
Another round of brainstorming will be held in a day or two.
First Published: Mar 19, 2019 15:15 IST