The BJP given its approval to Narinder Thakur, who was reinducted into the party after 11 years, for the Sujanpur Assembly byelection slated for May 7. The seat had fallen vacant after the sitting MLA Rajender Rana resigned from the seat to contest the Hamirpur Lok Sabha seat on a Congress ticket.

Narinder Thakur, son of former BJP stalwart late Jagdev Chand, was sidelined by the BJP and even denied the party ticket for the Hamirpur Assembly seat in 1998 and thereafter. Narinder Thakur then unsuccessfully contested election as an Independent. Later in 2007, he joined the Congress and contested the Hamirpur Lok Sabha byelection in 2007 unsuccessfully. In 2012, Thakur also contested assembly election against Prem Kumar Dhumal, which he lost with considerable margin.

Recently, after Congress names Rajender Rana as its candidate from Hamirpur Lok Sabha seat, Thakur rejoined BJP.

However, on the other side Congress has failed to come to the consensus over its candidate from the Sujanpur assembly segment. Chief minister Virbhadra Singh reportedly wanted ticket for Anita Rana, wife of Rajinder Rana.

The State Congress has constituted a three-member ministerial committee, headed by Irrigation and Public Health Minister Vidya Stokes and Kaul Singh and GS Bali as its members. The committee had formed two panels comprising names of five aspirants, including Anita Rana, Anita Verma, former MLA Kuldip Pathania, Hamirpur District Congress Committee president Naresh Thakur and DCC general secretary Arun Thakur.

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Rahul Bhandari is Editor of TheNewsHimachal and has been part of the digital world for last 15 years.