Congress decides candidates for tribal constituencies


By: Satyakam Bharti
Shimla: Finally reconciling with the early declaration of assembly elections in the state, the Congress party in a bid to prove its preparedness for the polls declared its candidates for the three tribal constituencies ahead of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
Retaining two of the three sitting MLAs from these constituencies, the All India Congress Committee cleared the name of Thakur Singh Bharmauri for the Bharmaur seat in Chamba, Jagat Singh Negi for the Kinnaur seat and Phungchuk Rai, who replaces Raghubir Singh, for the Lahaul-Spiti seat.
Traditionally, Congress has alternatively been giving ticket to candidates from Lahaul division and Spiti. While Raghubir Thakur hails from Lahaul, Phungchuk Rai is from the Spiti division. Thakur is reported to have said that he would keep his options open.
Elections to the three constituencies will be held on November 14, and the last date for nomination is October 27 while withdrawal will be allowed till October 31.
It may be remembered that the sitting Congress MLAs from the tribal constituencies had given a separate memorandum to the Election Commissioner of India, requesting that elections in these constituencies should be held along with the remaining 65 seats. However, talking to HimVani, Thakur Singh Bharmauri claimed full preparedness, stating that early scheduling of polls will not affect the outcome. Negi, on the other hand, said that their only grudge had been that their term ended at least eight months short of the five-year duration,
Earlier, the three of them together had also approached the Himachal Pradesh High Court pleading that elections to their respective constituencies should be held along with the remaining seats. The court is yet to decide the case.

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