BJP’s list of probables for Himachal bypolls ready

Shanta Kumar skips meeting on ‘health ground’ l Fielding MLA from Mandi opposed

BJP’s list of probables for Himachal bypolls ready

CM Jai Ram Thakur and leaders at a party meeting in Dharamsala on Sunday.

Lalit Mohan

Tribune News Service

Dharamsala, October 3

The BJP state-level election committee met here today to shortlist the candidates for the coming byelections on October 30.

Sources said many leaders in the committee proposed against fielding MLAs from Mandi. The name of IPH Minister Mahender Singh was doing the rounds as party candidate from the parliamentary constituency. However, many leaders proposed to field a Brahmin candidate.

Likely faces

  • Fatehpur in Kangra: Former MP Kirpal Parmar, Baldev Thakur and Rita Thakur
  • From Arki in Solan: Gobind Sharma and Rattan Pal
  • From Jubbal Kotkhai in Shimla: Chetan Bragta among the shortlisted ones

From the Fatehpur Assembly constituency in Kangra district, the party leaders were considering the names of former Rajya Sabha MP Kirpal Parmar, party leader Baldev Thakur and Rita Thakur. From Arki in Solan district, the names of Gobind Sharma and Rattan Pal were considered. From Jubbal Kotkhai, the name of Chetan Bragta, son of former minister Narinder Bragta, whose death led to the byelection, was among the shortlisted candidates.

The committee meeting started at 6 pm after the arrival of Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting Anurag Thakur. He arrived late due to his programmes in Hamirpur.

Most senior party leaders, including Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur, former CM Prem Kumar Dhumal, party in-charge Avinash Rai Khanna, party co-incharge Sanjay Tandon and state president Suresh Kayshap, attended the meeting that was chaired by national vice-president Saudan Singh. Sources said Shanta Kumar did not attend the meeting, citing ill-health.

Trilok Kapoor, general secretary of the party, said 2 to 3 names were finalised by the committee for each segment. These would be sent to the party high command.

He said in the election management committee meeting that was also held here under the chairmanship of Saudan Singh, it was decided that the BJP would contest the bypoll on the performance of the Jai Ram government in the state and Narendra Modi government at the Centre.

Trilok Kapoor said the Congress was in disarray at the state and national level and was in no position to give any challenge to the ruling BJP. When asked about the impact of rising prices of petrol, diesel, LPG and other commodities on the byelections, he said it was due to the impact of coronavirus and would soon be brought under control.

The management committee meeting took the feedback regarding each constituency going to the polls from the respective committees, strengths and weaknesses of the party and strategies to win elections.

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