Sonia Gandhi To Select Congress Candidate For Himachal By-election

Shimla: With the congress parliamentary selection failing to select its candidate for the Hamirpur parliamentary by-election at its meeting in Delhi, today, the party has left it to Sonia Gandhi to choose the candidate.

With there being just four applicants for the party ticket, the congress is in a quandary about contesting the 22 May by-election against the BJP candidate Anurag Thakur, who happens to be the son of chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal.

Party insiders maintained the with the choice from among the applicants being limited there was every possibility that Sonia Gandhi could ask an sitting legislator to contest the seat.

However most senior leaders, on conditions of confidentiality told My Himachal News that from among the ticket applicants a consensus over OP Rattan, the senior congressman from Una district was emerging.

However one senior congressman said that the party was aware that contesting the BJP stronghold at a time when the party has just returned to power was a difficult proposition.

“The party was on the lookout for introducing a new face who could become a formidable candidate for the general parliamentary election that was due in a years time. If the party decides to field a MLA then Rakesh Kalia, the legislator from Chintpurni is a likely candidate,” he said.

Senior congress leader Vidya Stokes, who is also the leader of the opposition said that the list of all four ticket seekers, which include OP Rattan, Ranjit Singh Verma, MPS Rana and Tara Chand Chaudhary had been sent to the party high command.

“The party high command in all likelihood would select the candidate from among the applicants. That decision would be binding for the party,” said Stokes.

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