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HP: BJP releases 2nd list of candidates

Shimla: The ruling BJP on Thursday here declared its second and final list of candidates amid a rebellion of sort after denying tickets to many old faces. In a bid to control the damage, the saffron party gave two Shanta Kumar and Dhumal loyalists tickets.
BJP decided to put former five-time MLA and Shanta Kumar loyalists in the fray from Dehra replacing him from his Assembly Constituency Jawalamukhi of Kangra.
While former chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal loyalist Ravinder Singh Ravi, who lost in 2017 against BJP rebel Hoshiyar Singh, was put in fray from Jawalamukhi.
Earlier BJP publicly refused tickets to both but after rebellion in almost 16 seats from former and sitting MLAs who were denied tickets, there was a U-turn.
The BJP also decided to put former MP and founder of Himachal Lokthit Party Mehashwar Singh from Kullu.
He is considered Shanta Kumar loyalist and had lost the last Assembly polls against Congress MLA Sunder Thakur.
Congress has given ticket to woman candidate from Barsar of Hamirpur — Maya Sharma, the wife of former MLA Baldev Sharma who is considered Dhumal loyalist.
The party put Prof Ramakumar from Haroli of Una district against Opposition Congress leader in Vidhan Sabha Mukesh Agnihotri once again. Agnihotri has faced repeated defeats in the last four Assembly Elections.
In Congress bastion Rampur, which is ancestral home of former chief minister Virbhadra Singh, BJP named Kaul Negi.
So, BJP has announced candidates for all the 68 Assembly seats in Himachal Pradesh.
BJP rebels in fray are from Kasumpti (Joytivijay Sen), former MLA KL Thakur from Nalagarh and former MLA Hoshiyar Singh from Dehra, sitting MLA Vishal Neheria from Dharmshala.
BJP is facing rebellion in Mandi, Bhoranj, Ani, Chamba and Bharmour among others.
The Aam Aadmi Party has given tickets to candidate in all 68 and CPI(M) on 11 seats. However, the opposition Congress which is treading cautiously could declare tickets to 46 seats only so far. It is yet to finalize tickets for 22 constituencies. (UNI)

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