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Lok Sabha Elections 2019: Congress likely to declare Himachal Pradesh candidates next week

The Bharatiya Janata Party had taken the Mandi Lok Sabha seat from the Congress in 2014 elections, when riding on Modi wave. Ramswroop Sharma scored a surprise victory defeating Pratibha Singh.

lok sabha elections Updated: Mar 25, 2019 14:40 IST
Gaurav Bisht
Gaurav Bisht
Hindustan Times, Shimla
Lok Sabha Elections 2019,Election news,Lok Sabha Polls
Senior Congress leader and former Himachal Pradesh CM Virbhadra Singh is said to be interested in contesting the Lok Sabha elections. (PTI File Photo )

After the Bharatiya Janata Party took lead by announcing it’s candidates for four parliamentary seats in Himachal Pradesh on Saturday, the Congress is likely to declare its nominees next week.

Congress leaders will meet in New Delhi to finalise the candidates on Wednesday.

“The names of shortlisted candidates will be placed before the central election committee of the party in New Delhi,” said Rajni Patil, All India Congress Committee in-charge for Himachal affairs and a member of the Congress working Committee. The Congress’s central election committee is likely to meet in New Delhi next week to announce tickets for Himachal Pradesh.

Solan legislator Dhani Ram Shandil is already campaigning for the Lok Sabha election. Shandil, who has been a member of parliament is being seen as an obvious choice from Shimla seat even as the names of Vinod Sulanpuri and Amit Nanda are doing the rounds.

The party’s biggest dilemma is over the selection of a candidate from Mandi constituency. Former chief minister Virbhadra Singh has hinted that he could jump in the poll fray.

However, at the same time his son Vikramaditya Singh, who is a legislator from Shimla rural is also being considered as the front runner. Vikramaditya has also shown interest to contest from Mandi constituency.

Mandi parliamentary constituency, dubbed as battlefield of royals, has remained a stronghold of the Congress.

The Bharatiya Janata Party wrested the seat from the Congress in 2014 elections, when riding on Modi wave. Ramswroop Sharma scored a surprise victory defeating Pratibha Singh.

For the Congress, which is eyeing to take back all the four Lok Sabha seats in Himachal Pradesh, finding formidable faces is an uphill task in Kangra. Former urban development minister Sudhir Sharma and Kangra legislator Pawan Kajal’s names were discussed threadbare last week.

However, Asha Kumari, Dalhousie legislator and AICC secretary in-charge for party affairs in Punjab is also keen to enter the poll fray.

Senior leaders like Mukesh Agnihotri and former state Congress chief Sukhwinder Singh Sukhu are not willing to contest from Hamirpur.

Abhishek Rana, son of Sujanpur MLA Rajinder Rana, has launched a campaign but a faction in the party is opposing him.

Lok Sabha election 2019: Issues, key players and more on Himachal Pradesh

First Published: Mar 25, 2019 14:40 IST

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