Congress considers names for Rohru, Jawali bye-elections in Himachal

Shimla: Gearing up for a mini-electoral battle, congress has started the candidate selecting process to be put up for Rohru and Jawali assembly bye-elections that have fallen vacant because the members who represented these segments were elected to parliament in May.

Speaking to the media congress spokesman Kuldeep Rathore said, state president Thakur Kaul Singh is to hold a general house meet in Kangra, where deliberations for selecting party candidates for the ensuing by-elections would be held.

Two observers for Jawali and Rohru are assessing the winning potential of likely candidates, who would be announced as soon the selection process finalises the names, he said.

While Pratibha Singh is expected to replace husband Virbhadra Singh, union steel minister, in the Rohru seat, for Jawali besides Sujjan Singh Pathanis several names are doing the rounds.

Before being elected to parliament in May, Jawali was represented by Rajan Sushant, a former minister in the 1998-2003 BJP government and Rohru, a congress stronghold was represented by Virbhadra Singh.

Speaking about the Jaswant Singh exposé over LK Advani being behind the cash for vote’s drama, Kuldeep Rathore said “the tactics adopted reflected the mentality of BJP and to what extent they could go to grab power.”

Calling for Advani to resign as leader of opposition, he said, “it was shameful that a leader of his stature lied over the Khandar place hijack issue and tried to shift blame on cabinet colleagues.

A change of leadership in BJP will not improve things unless the party changes its mindset, said Rathore.

A congress membership registration was open till end of the year. These voters would be eligible to choose a state president for 2010, informed Rathore.

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