Himachal Pradesh Assembly Election 2017: BJP lacks CM candidates, Congress flouts own 'one-family-one-ticket' rule
On Monday, deadline day for announcing final list of candidates for the upcoming Assembly elections in Himachal Pradesh, the two major parties — Congress and BJP — both declared their final lists
The Congress on Monday filed its second list of candidates for the Himachal Pradesh Assembly election, due on 9 November. The Congress, which has been in power in Himachal Pradesh since five years, has now announced candidates for all 68 Assembly seats. The party had originally announced 59 candidates in its first list, and seven constituencies in the second list. There were only two seats for which the incumbent party didn't have a candidate yet—Simla Rural and Mandi—but it announced tickets for these on Monday, the deadline day for filing of nominations.
Meanwhile, the BJP announced all 68 candidates in the same list. The party, which was in power in the hill state from 2007 to 2012, hasn't named a chief ministerial candidate, but it's expected that former chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal might be a natural claimant to the chair.
According to a report on The Indian Express, the first draft list was prepared on 15 October but was held back after Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that at least six women should be included in the list.
"Few names, not heard by many, have been put forward at the last stage and were told to be considered by making amendments in the list earlier cleared by the state election body during its meeting in Chandigarh," the report quoted a party source as saying.
Dhumal and Union Health Minister JP Nadda are both part of the BJP's list of candidates for Himachal Pradesh, and are said to be the two claimants for the chief minster's post. According to Hindustan Times, one of the reasons the BJP is said to have lost the 2012 Assembly election could be the infighting between Nadda and Dhumal.
The report also said that Congress rebels who joined the saffron party in the hill state have been given seats of their choice. These include Anil Sharma, Himachal Pradesh rural development minister, and son of former Union minister Sukhram, who is being fielded from the key Assembly constituency of Mandi.
Meanwhile, for the Congress, a unique dilemma has been over the party's "one-family-one-ticket" rule. Perhaps as a way of deflecting criticism regarding "dynastic politics" the party has often been accused of, the Congress this year had said it will award only one ticket to each family, even if there were multiple claimants seeking candidacies.
According to PTI, Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh demanded a ticket for his son and Himachal Pradesh Youth Congress president Vikramaditya Singh, and publicly declared that the latter will contest from his Simla Rural seat. The chief minister himself moved to the Arki Assembly seat in Solan district.
But while the party declared his candidature from Arki in the first list of candidates, it waited until the last possible minute to finally make up its mind about awarding Vikramaditya the Simla Rural seat.
The party also tried to withhold naming a candidate for Mandi, from where state minister Kaul Singh Thakur's daughter Champa demanded a ticket. Thakur was fielded from Darang.
On Monday, the party defied its "one-family-one-ticket" rule for a second time, by naming Champa as its candidate from Mandi.
Congress was provided a breather in Palampur, after Speaker Bihari Lal Butail vacated his seat and decided not to seek re-election. His son Ashish Butail has been named the party candidate for Palampur. Had both father and son expressed an interest in contesting the polls, the party may have had another uncomfortable choice to make.
Final list of BJP candidates for Himachal Pradesh
|AC No.||Name of Assembly constituency||Name of candidate|
|2||Bharmour (ST)||Jiya Lal Kapoor|
|4||Dalhousie||D S Thakur|
|5||Bhattiyat||Vikram Singh Jaryal|
|7||Indora (SC)||Reeta Dhiman|
|9||Jawali||Arjun Singh Thakur|
|13||Jaisingpur (SC)||Ravind Dhiman|
|14||Sullah||Vipin Singh Parmar|
|15||Nagrota||Arun Kumar (Kuka)|
|19||Palampur||Sushree Indu Gauswamy|
|20||Baijanath (SC)||Mulakh Raj Premi|
|21||Lahaul & Spiti (ST)||Dr. Ramlal Markandeya|
|22||Manali||Govind Singh Thakur|
|25||Anni (SC)||Kishori Lal|
|26||Karsog (SC)||Hira Lal|
|28||Nachan (SC)||Vinod Kumar|
|29||Seraj||Jai Ram Thakur|
|31||Jogindernagar||Gulab Singh Thakur|
|32||Dharampur||Mahendra Singh Thakur|
|34||Balh (SC)||Indra Singh Gandhi|
|35||Sarkaghat||Col. Indra Singh Thakur|
|36||Bhoranj (SC)||Kamlesh Kumari|
|37||Sujanpur||Prem Kumar Dhumal|
|41||Chintpurni (SC)||Balbir Singh Chaudhary|
|43||Haroli||Ram Kumar Sharma|
|44||Una||Satpal Singh Sati|
|46||Jhanduta (SC)||JR Katwal|
|49||Sri Naina Deviji||Randheer Sharma|
|50||Arki||Ratan Singh Pal|
|51||Nalagarh||Krishnan Lal Thakur|
|52||Doon||Sardar Paramjeet Singh (Pammi)|
|53||Solan (SC)||Rajesh Kashyap|
|54||Kasauli (SC)||Rajeev Sahjal|
|55||Pachhad (SC)||Suresh Kumar Kashyap|
|57||Sri Renukaji (SC)||Balbir Chauhan|
|58||Paonta Sahib||Sukhram Chaudhary|
|59||Shillai||Baldev Singh Tomar|
|60||Chopal||Balbir Singh Verma|
|62||Kasumpti||Vijay Jyoti Sain|
|64||Shimla Rural||Pramod Sharma|
|66||Rampur (SC)||Prem Singh Draik|
|67||Rohru (SC)||Shashi Bala|
|68||Kinnaur (ST)||Tejwant Negi|
Final list of Congress candidates for Himachal Pradesh:
|AC No.||Name of Assembly constituency||Name of candidate|
|1||Churah (SC)||Surinder Bharadwaj|
|2||Bharmour (ST)||Thakur Singh Bharmouri|
|5||Bhattiyat||Kuldip Singh Pathania|
|7||Indora (SC)||Kamal Kishore|
|8||Fatehpur||Sujan Singh Pathania|
|13||Jaisingpur (SC)||Yadvinder Goma|
|17||Shahpur||Kewal Singh Pathania|
|20||Baijanath (SC)||Kishori Lal|
|21||Lahaul & Spiti (ST)||Ravi Thakur|
|22||Manali||Hari Chand Sharma|
|23||Banjar||Aditya Vikram Singh|
|24||Kullu||Sudender Singh Thakur|
|25||Anni (SC)||Paras Ram|
|26||Karsog (SC)||Mansa Ram|
|27||Sundernagar||Sohan Lal Thakur|
|28||Nachan (SC)||Lal Singh Kaushal|
|29||Seraj||Chet Ram Thakur|
|30||Darang||Kaul Singh Thakur|
|31||Jogindernagar||Jiwan Lal Thakur|
|34||Balh (SC)||Prakash Chaudhary|
|36||Bhoranj (SC)||Suresh Kumar|
|39||Barsar||Inder Dutt Lakhanpal|
|41||Chintpurni (SC)||Kuldip Kumar|
|44||Una||Sat Pal Raizada|
|46||Jhanduta (SC)||Biru Ram Kishore|
|49||Sri Naina Deviji||Ram Lal Thakur|
|53||Solan (SC)||Dhani Ram Shandil|
|54||Kasauli (SC)||Vinod Sultanpuri|
|55||Pachhad (SC)||Gangu Ram Musapuri|
|57||Sri Renukaji (SC)||Vinay Kumar|
|58||Paonta Sahib||Kirnesh Jung|
|63||Shimla||Harbhajan Singh Bhajji|
|64||Shimla Rural||Vikramaditya Singh|
|66||Rampur (SC)||Nand Lal|
|67||Rohru (SC)||Mohan Lal Brakta|
|68||Kinnaur (ST)||Jagat Singh Negi|
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