ANI Photo | Congress to finalize Himachal Lok Sabha candidates soon; options open for rebels: Rajneesh Kimta

The State General Secretary of the Himachal Pradesh Congress Committee, Rajneesh Kimta, on Thursday said that the Congress party will finalize the candidates for Lok Sabha in ten days. The party has kept options open for the return of rebel and disqualified legislators.
“In all four parliamentary constituencies, we received applications and all have been submitted to the Congress High Command. The names have been discussed in the screening committee meeting and very soon another meeting will be conducted in 10 to 12 days. The candidates will be finalized after the meeting of the central election committee,” said Rajneesh Kimta while speaking to ANI.
“As far as the BJP is concerned they are over-ambitious and in a hurry. They should not forget they lost in elections and also in assembly. We shall field the strong candidates and shall win all elections,” added Kimta.
On being asked on the announcement by the state party chief (Pratibha Singh) for withdrawal of candidature from the Mandi parliamentary he said that she will answer and there is no resentment among the party workers.
“I don’t know why she has said so because there is no one in the party who is annoyed. We have fulfilled the promises and delivered to every section of the society. We have managed during the disaster in the state. We have given a package of 4500 crore rupees to the people of the state despite not getting any support from the union government, added the State General Secretary.
The Congress leader further said, “We have implemented the Old Pension Scheme and provided an honorarium of 1500 rupees to the women. Also, support prices were increased and apple prices to the Farmers, there is no problem in the party. Our leaders are not denying and it’s good that Kaul Singh has advocated for young people.”
“Whatever situation has arisen in the disqualification of MLAs, the people have given a mandate against the BJP and if we have to go for a by-election, we shall win all. We are open to talks with the rebels to come back to power. Everything went well at the party. After Holi festival we shall organize a meeting of the coordination committee,” Kimta added further.
For four parliamentary seats, in Shimla SC constituency 16 Congress leaders have applied, for Kangra, 13 leaders have applied, for Hamirpur 5 congress leaders have applied to contest and for Mandi, three candidates have applied.
Himachal Pradesh has four Lok Sabha seats — Hamirpur, Mandi, Shimla, and Kangra. The BJP had won all four seats in 2019. Later, former chief minister Virbhadra Singh’s wife Pratibha Singh snatched Mandi from the BJP in a bypoll necessitated in 2021 following the death of incumbent MP Ram Swaroop Sharma.
The bypolls to six Assembly seats in Himachal Pradesh, fallen vacant following the disqualification of Congress MLAs, will be held simultaneously with the Lok Sabha polls on June 1, state’s Chief Electoral Officer Maneesh Garg said earlier. The counting of votes will be held on June 4

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