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Himachal BJP screening committee deliberates on candidates for Lok Sabha election

Sitting MPs Anurag Thakur, Suresh Kashyap likely to be re-fielded

Himachal BJP screening committee deliberates on candidates for Lok Sabha election

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Tribune News Service

Pratibha Chauhan

Shimla, March 5

With the two sitting MPs Anurag Thakur and Suresh Kashyap all set to be re-fielded by the party, the state BJP screening committee has forwarded a panel of probable candidates to be given the party ticket from the Mandi and Kangra Lok Sabha seats.

The BJP screening committee, which met here last night to discuss the names of the probable candidates, has prepared a panel of names from the two parliamentary seats. The ticket to four-time MP and Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting Anurag Thakur is almost certain as such there was no discussion on the Hamirpur parliamentary seat. Similarly, Shimla MP Suresh Kashyap, a former state BJP president, is likely to find favour for being fielded again for the parliamentary polls.

Sources said a panel of five names, namely former MP Maheshwar Singh, former minister from Kullu Gobind Thakur, Kargil hero Brig Khushal Thakur (retd), state BJP general secretary Bihari Lal and Ajay Rana from Sundernagar, came up from Mandi. Maheshwar is being considered a strong candidate as he has remained a state president and former MP. In the last by-election in 2019, Brig Thakur had unsuccessfully contested the Lok Sabha election against Pratibha Singh and remains a strong candidate even this time around.

Regarding the Kangra Assembly segment, the screening committee, it has been learnt reliably, has forwarded names of former minister Rakesh Pathania who had lost the Assembly election from Fatehpur in 2022, former Dharamshala MLA Vishal Neharia, Rajeev Bhardwaj (Nurpur), Ghanshyam Sharma, a retired employees leader and Vishal Chauhan, a BJP youth leader.

BJP is keen to ensure that it sweeps the Lok Sabha polls in Himachal like 2019 when it had won all the four parliamentary seats. It is only in the by-poll for Mandi Lok Sabha seat, following the demise of BJP MP Ram Swaroop that Pratibha, wife of former chief minister Virbhadra Singh registered victory. The BJP is now not willing to take any chances and wants all four seats in its kitty.

Sudhir LS nominee from Kangra?

  • There has been speculation about the disqualified Dharamsala Congress MLA Sudhir Sharma contesting the Lok Sabha election from Kangra on the BJP ticket. Sources said though the possibility still remains open, it is the high command which will take the final call on fielding him
  • The BJP is treading cautiously and will examine all legal aspects before considering his name. The plea of the six disqualified MLAs against their disqualification will come up for hearing in the Supreme Court on on Wednesday

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#Anurag Thakur #BJP #Lok Sabha #Mandi #Shimla


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