Young Turks Shy Away From Contesting Lok Sabha Polls

Shimla: Not many young Turks having shown interest into entering the fray for the upcoming parliamentary polls, be it the BJP or congress – both parties are relying on old guards, going against the grain of inducting younger candidates so as to reflect electorate profiles.

“Barring the exception of Anurag Thakur, sitting MP from Hamirpur, neither BJP nor congress is showing keenness to field young candidates for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections,” commented Pankaj Goswami, a university student after learning about the panel of candidates that congress shortlisted on Saturday.

On its part BJP has already declared Anurag Thakur for Hamirpur, Maheshwar Singh for Mandi, Virender Kashyap for Shimla and Rajan Sushant for Kangra.
When contacted Thakur Kaul Singh, state congress president said, “the shortlisted candidate panel is confidential” .
Party sources, however, disclosed that veteran congressman Sukh Ram – who was the communication minister in the Narsimbha Rao government, five time chief minister Virbhadra Singh, Thakur Kaul Singh and sitting MP Pratibha Singh are on the panel for the Mandi seat. 
Interestingly, octogenarian Sukh Ram is being considered a formidable candidate despite having announced his retirement from politics sometime ago. The panel is being considered as Pratibha Singh has expressed unwillingness to recontest the seat.

For Hamirpur the party is considering Narinder Thakur, MPS Rana, Ranjit Singh Verma, Kuldeep Singh Pathania and Sunil Sharma.
For Shimla sitting MP Dhani Ram Shandil and for Kangra sitting MP Chander Kumar have been recommended. All these probable candidates are more than 45 years old.
Congress spokesman Kuldeep Rathore when contacted said that given the crucial nature of the forthcoming elections winability is the foremost criteria for the party.
“Barring one young man applying  for the Shimla seat, there were no young applicants for the remaining three seats,” he said.
Ashok Kapahtia, BJP spokesman said “Other than Anurag, we did consider younger candidates for Shimla and Mandi seats”.

“They being large constituencies and winability being of prime importance, the party settled for experienced war horses who are known to the constituents,” he said.


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