Congress announces 4 more candidates, no decision on Hamirpur yet

The opposition Congress on Saturday released the third list of candidates for four assembly seats while failing to reach a consensus on the Hamirpur seat.

The Congress, which is aiming to return to power in Himachal, has now announced candidates for 67 out of 68 seats.

From SC reserved Jaisinghpur seat, the party picked up former legislator Yadvinder Singh Goma as its candidate. Goma was first elected to the state assembly in 2012. He lost the 2017 election to BJP’s Ravinder Dhiman.

His father was also a three-term former MLA from the Rajgir assembly segment, which was dissolved in a delimitation exercise.

Goma faced tough competition from Sushil Kaul, a sailor-turned-politician. While Himachal Pradesh Congress Committee (HPCC) favoured Goma’s candidature, Kaul had the backing of Sukhwinder Sukhu, the head of the state election campaign committee head.

From Manali assembly segment, the party reposed faith in Bhuwneshwar Gaur, son of former minister Raj Krishan Gaur.

Junior Gaur, earlier contested the 2012 assembly elections from Manali but lost to BJP’s Govind Singh Thakur, who is a minister in the outgoing government.

Former MLA Kirnesh Jung is in the fray from Paonta Sahib seat as a Congress candidate. He was elected to the state assembly in 2012 as an independent and later joined the Congress. The party snubbed the state youth Congress president Nigam Bhandari from the ST-reserved Kinnaur seat and once again has reposed faith in sitting legislator Jagat Singh Negi.

Recently, Bhandari had threatened to quit the party if ignored after which the party put the Kinnaur ticket on hold.

The party, however, failed to announce the candidate from the Hamirpur seat even in the third list.

Earlier, Ashish Sharma, who has a BJP background, had recently joined Congress and was supposed to be a Congress candidate from Hamirpur.

However, after the party withheld the ticket, Sharma announced to contest as an independent and has even filed the nomination.

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