In the Mandi by-poll, Himachal Congress looking to play safe as most of members of Congress Election Committee were in favor of Pratibha Singh’s candidature.

The state Congress Election Committee convened a meeting at Rajiv Bhawan, state Congress office at Shimla, which was attended by State Congress president Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu, CM Virbhadra Singh, Vidya Stokes, Kaul Singh Thakur, GS Bali, Dhani Ram Shandil, Gangu Ram Musafir, Ram Lal Thakur and Chander Kumar. However, Union Industries and Commerce Minister Anand Sharma, former Member of Parliament Viplove Thakur, All-India Mahila Congress chief Anita Verma and legislator Asha Kumari given a miss to it.

In the meeting a panel of two names including Pratibha Singh, former Mandi MP and the Rakesh Dharwal of Jogindernagar, has been forwarded to party high-command. State Congress president Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu said that they have left it to over Party high-command and it can announced candidate in couple of days.

In the meeting majority of members were of the opinion that Pratibha Singh would be the strongest candidate the party could field as she had represented the constituency earlier. However now, the formal announcement of her candidature is being considered a formality. It has been reliably learnt that the district Congress committees of Mandi, Kullu and Shimla (Rural) have sent in resolutions supporting her candidature.