Former CM Dhumal in BJP list of candidates for Himachal polls

Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi with mother Sonia

The Congress' list of candidates includes names of Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhdra Singh and party heavyweight, Rajinder Rana. This was announced by the Chief Election Commissioner Achal Kumar Joti in a press conference in Delhi. Nominees for the remaining nine seats, including Shimla (Rural), would be announced later.According to media reports, Singh had earlier said that he wanted to contest the election from a seat which the Congress has not won in previous polls. He was earlier a minister in the Virbhadra Singh government. Congress party is also expected to field the candidates for the upcoming elections soon.

Former chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal, who will contest from Sujanpur, has not been named the CM candidate but he would lead the BJP as all others for the CM " s post do not figure in the list, including his MP son Anurag Thakur, Union Health Minister Jagat Prasad Nadda and former CM Shanta Kumar. Ten Independent candidates filed their nominations on Tuesday from various constituencies, as did Vishwanath Sharma of the CPI (M) from Nahan constituency in Sirmaur. The BJP is yet to declare the chief ministerial candidate.

The filing of nomination is scheduled to begin on October 16 and conclude on October 23. Singh had two days ago had said that Vikramaditya will contest from his Shimla (Rural) seat.Late Ayurveda Minister Karan Singh's son, Aditya Vikram, is in the race from Banjar constituency. He had won the 2012 assembly election from Hamirpur seat but the top brass of BJP has fielded him from Sujapur as Hamirpur is a BJP stronghold seat and can be easily won irrespective of the party candidate.

The Congress had ousted the BJP government headed by Dhumal in the last elections in 2012. The voting will take place on November 9 and the results will be declared on December 18.

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