New Delhi: Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh's son was named the Congress nominee from Shimla Rural today as the party announced the names of its candidates for the remaining nine seats, just a day before the filing of nomination comes to an end.
Relaxing the "one family, one ticket" formula, the party fielded Himachal Pradesh Youth Congress president Vikramaditya Singh from the prestigious Shimla Rural constituency, earlier held by his father, and state minister Kaul Singh Thakur's daughter Champa Thakur from Mandi for the November 9 Assembly polls.
The Congress had initially dithered over announcing the candidatures of Vikramaditya Singh and Champa Thakur, but gave in to pressure at the last minute, party sources said.
According to the party sources, the Congress was sticking to its "one family, one ticket" formula, whereby only one member of a family would be made a party candidate, seriously and this was the reason for the delay in declaring the candidates for Shimla Rural and Mandi seats.
Earlier in the day, the party released its second list of seven candidates, withholding the names of its nominees for just two seats -- Shimla Rural and Mandi.
About an hour later, the party, however, cleared the nominations of Vikramaditya Singh and Champa Thakur.
Virbhadra Singh had earlier publicly declared that his son would contest from his seat. The chief minister has moved to the Arki Assembly seat in Solan district and the party has declared his candidature from there.
Champa Thakur's father Kaul Singh Thakur has been fielded from the Darang Assembly constituency. Champa Thakur's seat, Mandi, was held by former Union minister Sukh Ram's son Anil Sharma. Anil Sharma has quit the party and is now the BJP candidate for the seat.
Tomorrow is the last day for filing of nominations for the election to the 68-member Assembly. The Congress had on October 18 announced its first list of 59 candidates.
In the second list of candidates, the Congress fielded Kewal Singh Pathania from Shahpur, and Ashish Butail from Palampur, currently held by outgoing Speaker Brij Bihari Lal Butail, who did not want to contest this time. Ashish Butail is the son of the outgoing Speaker.
The Congress fielded Deepak Rathore from the Theog Assembly constituency, earlier represented by state minister Vidya Stokes.
Hari Chand Sharma has been declared as the party candidate from Manali, while Surinder Thakur will be the Congress nominee from Kullu.
The Congress fielded Vivek Sharma from Kutlehar, while Lakhwinder Rana has been fielded from Nalagarh.
In addition, the party replaced its candidate from Anni.
Paras Ram will contest from the seat in place of Bansi Lal, whose name was declared in the first list.
The Assembly poll results will be declared on December 18.