Congress weighs options for Hamirpur, Kangra seats : The Tribune India

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Congress weighs options for Hamirpur, Kangra seats

Keen on fielding bigwig to take on Anurag Thakur

Congress weighs options for Hamirpur, Kangra seats

Photo for representation. File photo



Tribune News Service

Shimla, April 17

The Congress is still deliberating on the names for picking a candidate for the Hamirpur Lok Sabha seat with the party high command keen on fielding a heavyweight against Union Minister Anurag Thakur to ensure he doesn’t get a walkover.

Discussions on fielding Deputy CM Mukesh Agnihotri have been held in Delhi and here during party meetings. Sources said Agnihotri had expressed his reluctance in contesting the poll, citing personal reasons following the recent demise of his wife.

The name of Agnihotri’s daughter, Astha Agnihotri was also doing the rounds, but she was considered a weak candidate against the four-time Hamirpur MP. The sources said while Agnihotri could give a tough fight to Thakur, fielding a newcomer would amount to giving the seat on a platter to Thakur. Earlier, it was said the candidature of former Una MLA Satpal Raizada had almost been finalised. He is a close confidante of the CM and is keen on contesting the poll. Moreover, the Congress has already fielded two sitting MLAs — Vikramaditya Singh from Mandi and Vinod Sultanpuri from Shimla. The possibility of fielding Agnihotri can still not be ruled out.

Similarly, the party is undecided on the Kangra candidate. It is being expected that the candidates for both seats would be finalised by April 20. With the BJP having got a headstart in campaigning, Congress cadres are unhappy over the delay in ticket allocation.

The name of former minister and six-time Dalhousie MLA Asha Kumari has been doing the rounds for the Kangra seat. Considering the strong caste equations there, fielding a Rajput, who constitute a sizeable chunk of the electorate, may prove advantageous for the party. The BJP has fielded Rajeev Bhardwaj, a Brahmin, who will be contesting his maiden poll.

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#Anurag Thakur #Congress #Hamirpur #Kangra #Lok Sabha #Shimla


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