Thursday, January 16, 2003, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

HP poll: BJP to finalise names by Jan-end 
S. Satyanarayanan
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 15
The BJP Central Election Committee is meeting on January 29 or 30 for finalising party candidates for the Himachal Pradesh elections, even as party sources indicated that the candidature of a majority of the sitting MLAs was likely to be retained.

The BJP central office has written to Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee asking him to give time for the meeting, party sources told The Tribune here today.

The proposed meeting will be attended, among others, by Deputy Prime Minister L.K. Advani, party President M. Venkaiah Naidu, general secretaries Arun Jaitley, M.A. Naqvi and Rajnath Singh.

The filing of nominations for the Assembly poll begins on January 31 and the last date is February 7.

Meanwhile, top party sources indicated that the candidature of a majority of the sitting MLAs would be retained, although there had been demands from some quarters for bringing new faces for the coming polls.

The sources said as in Gujarat, the ticket distribution would take place smoothly as for a majority of the seats, the Himachal state unit was likely to recommend only one name for the candidature.

“As per the discussion held informally last week on the selection of candidates, there is likely to be only a proposal for one candidate. Only for six seats is there going to be more than one name,” a top BJP leader said.

The names for these six seats will also be decided after deliberations with the state unit and weighing various aspects, most importantly the winnability of the candidates.

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