Virbhadra files papers for Himachal polls, Dhumal on Monday

Elias Hubbard
October 22, 2017

With poll bugle being sounded in Himachal Pradesh, Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh filed his nomination from the Arki constituency in Solan district on Friday.

Singh said Congress will reclaim victory in the upcoming state polls.

Mr Singh has had a virtual walkover with the Congress leadership in the first list of 59 candidates released earlier this week. Bharatiya Janata Party is likely to announce Prem Kumar Dhumal as its CM candidate.

The Chief Minister has opted to contest from a new constituency, Arki, making it clear that he wants Vikramaditya to contest from Shimla Rural, a seat that Virbhadra Singh had won in 2012.

The six-time chief minister vacated the Shimla (rural) seat and has shifted to Arki.

Virbhadra Singh, who has been declared the Congress chief ministerial candidate, is pitted against the BJP's greenhorn Ratan Singh Pal. He submitted his papers to returning officer Isha Thakur. The party is yet to release the names of candidates for the remaining nine seats. The Congress has fielded Rajinder Rana against Dhumal. At the same time, the Congress high command's move to overlook its stated norm of one family, one ticket will be fodder for the Opposition BJP, which has accused the grand old party of nepotism.

The chief minister, who has been embroiled in graft scandals and is under the scanner of the Enforcement Directorate, has been throwing tantrums ahead of the Assembly elections.

He was routed by the BJP's Anurag Thakur, the son of Dhumal.

This would be the last election for octogenarian Virbhadra, who is desperate to accommodate his son, Vikramaditya Singh, to carry forward his political legacy.

The BJP in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections had won all the four seats with a vote percentage of 53.85 per cent.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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