The Congress announced its first list of 59 candidates on Wednesday for the November 9 Himachal Pradesh assembly polls. Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, who was supposed to contest from Theog after the seat was vacated by leader Vidya Stokes, has been fielded from the Arki constituency in Solan district.
The list was finalised after a marathon meeting of the Congress Central Election Committee chaired by party president Sonia Gandhi. Nominees for the remaining nine seats, including Shimla (Rural), will be announced later. Party sources said the Congress had not declared candidates for the remaining nine constituencies since there were many aspirants.
Virbhadra Singh had earlier said he wanted to contest the election from a seat that the Congress had not won in any previous polls. Arki was won by the BJP in the previous two assembly polls.
State Congress chief Sukhvinder Singh Sukkhu has been fielded from the Nadaun seat, which the latter had unsuccessfully contested in the previous election. The Chief Minister’s son, Vikramaditya Singh, did not figure in the first list. Singh had two days ago that Vikramaditya would contest from his Shimla (Rural) seat.
Late Ayurveda Minister Karan Singh’s son, Aditya Vikram, is in the race from Banjar constituency. Singh passed away in May this year. The Congress has fielded all its senior state leaders for the election. Rajya Sabha MP Viplove Thakur will contest the election from the Dehra assembly segment, which she had lost in 2012.
Other senior leaders, including AICC secretary Asha Kumari, Kaul Singh Thakur, G S Bali, Mukesh Agnihotri and Gangu Ram Musafir will contest from Dalhousie, Darang, Nagrota, Haroli and Pachchad, respectively. Assembly Speaker Brij Behari Lal Butail will represent Palampur.