In Himachal Congress, BJP Steer Clear Of Dynastic Politics

Virbhadra’s wife denied congress ticket, Sushant’s wife BJP ticket

Newcomer Manjit Thakur faces Balnahta in Rohru, Sujjan Singh Pathania takes on green horn Baldev Raj Choudhary in Jawali

Shimla: With Rahul Gandhi having vouched for doing away dynastic politics in congress here three days ago, the fallout has been that Pratibha Singh, wife of steel minister Virbhadra Singh, was denied the ticket from Rohru, a seat that her husband retained for 19 years.

Kuldeep Rathore, state congress spokesman said that Sujjan Singh Pathania from Jawali and Manjit Thakur from Rohru are the congress candidates for the bye-elections being held in these constituencies.

Party president Sonia Gandhi cleared the names, a statement signed by Oscar Fernandes, congress general secretary stated.

Strong contender Pratibha Singh was denied the ticket even though the block congress committee (BCC) had recommended her name as the sole candidate for the seat.

On being contacted Pratibha Singh said, “she was earlier also not keen to contest any election but it was love of the Rohru people that had forwarded her name for the seat.”

“I entered the fray only at their persuasion but it was for the party high command to decide what is in the best interest of the party,” she added.

Earlier Pratibha had declined to re-contest the Mandi parliamentary seat in May, paving the way for Virbhadra to enter parliament and be made steel minister.

She represented Mandi seat in the last Lok Sabha and Rohru had fallen vacant after her husband got elected to parliament in May, precipitating the bye-election.

Manjit Thakur, a block panchayat samiti president, is a former Virbhadra loyalist who in defiance of BCC recommendation put forth his application for the ticket directly before the Pradesh congress committee.

Thakur, a green horn, faces BJP’s Khushi Ram Balnahta, making the contest a keen one for the ruling party.

By putting up Sujjan Singh Pathania in Jawali, a four time legislator, against new comer Baldev Raj Choudhary of the BJP for the bye-election, the scales are evenly poised as BJP attempts to retain the seat.

Wining on a Janata party ticket for the first time in 1977, he has been a congress legislator in 1990, 1993 and 2003.

In Jawali, BJP by refusing the ticket to Sudha Sushant, wife of parliamentarian Rajan Sushant and choosing a new comer like the congress has tried to steer clear of dynastic politics as well.

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