BJP announces candidates for upcoming HP assembly poll

DAINIK NATION BUREAU

After Congress the BJP has also announced their candidates for all 68 Assembly seats in Himachal Pradesh, where election is due on November 9. They have dropped four sitting MLAs, fielded 12 new faces and six women and three Congress dissidents. In which 28 thakur, nine brahmins and five OBCs have been fielded by the BJP while 15 seats reserved for SC and three seats for ST.

Sitting MLAs BK Chauhan from Chamba, Govind Ram Sharma from Arki, Rikhi Ram Kaundal from Jhanduta and Anil Dhiman from Bhoranj, who was elected in a byelection just six months ago, have been denied the ticket.

The BJP has fielded mere six women against seven in 2012. They are  Indu Goswamy (Palampur), Reeta Dhiman (Indora), Shashi Bala (Rohru), Sarveen Choudhary (Shahpur), Vijay Jyoti Sen (Kasumpti) and Kamlesh Kumari (Bhoranj

Party rebel Manohar Dhiman, who had won as an Independent, too has been left out. But 11 former MLAs, including three former ministers, are on the list. Former CM Prem Kumar Dhumal has been shifted to Sujanpur. The BJP feels he alone can defeat Rajinder Rana, a former MLA, from here.

In all, 26 sitting MLAs, including Anil Sharma and Balbir Verma, have been selected. The latter had won from Chaupal as an Independent. Former Congress minister Sharma joined the BJP last week. Some rebels who were defeated in 2012 have been accommodated too.

Maheshwar Singh, who merged his Himachal Lokhit Party (HLP) with the BJP, has been fielded from Kullu. The BJP has changed its candidate from Shimla (Rural) and brought in Pramod Sharma, once a loyalist of Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh. He may challenge CM’s son Vikramaditya. In Kasumpti, the BJP has fielded Vijay Jyoti Sain, sister-in-law of CM’s wife Pratibha Singh.

Former Rajya Sabha member Kripal Parmar is in the fray from Fatehpur in Kangra. While Pawan Naiyar, who lost as the Congress candidate from Chamba, has made it to the list, former BJP MLA from Dalhousie Renu Chaddha has been kept out. Former ministers Kishan Kapoor and Romesh Dhawala have been given the ticket from Dharamsala and Jawalamukhi.

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