Shimla: Congress and BJP facing a major challenge from the rebels after several leaders who were denied tickets from the party decided to contest elections as independent candidates.

These candidates are likely to affect the votes of both parties as some of the rebels enjoy massive public support. 

In Congress, former minister and seven-time MLA Ganguram Musafir decided to contest elections as an independent candidate from Pacchad after he was denied a ticket by the party. Similarly, former two-time MLA Subhash Chand Manglet filed his nomination as an independent candidate after the party gave a ticket to Rajneesh Kimta. Other rebels from Congress include former MLAs Dr Biru Ram Kishore from Jhandutta, Jagjeevan Pal from Sullah and Tilak Raj from the Bilaspur constituency. 

Meanwhile, BJP removed former MP Maheshwar Singh as its candidate from Kullu right before the deadline for filing the nomination. Singh then proceeded to contest elections as an independent candidate. His son had already filed his nomination to contest as an independent candidate from Banjar after he was denied a ticket by the party. Former MLA KL Thakur from Nalagarh also turned rebel after the party decided to grant a ticket to former Congress leader Lakhwinder Singh Rana who joined BJP just before the elections. Other rebels include Tejvant Negi from Kinnaur, former Rajya Sabha MP Kripal Parmar who will be contesting elections from Fatehpur seat, Vipin Nehria from Dharamshala, Praveen Sharma from Mandi, Indra Kapoor from Chamba, Subhash Sharma from Bilaspur, Raj Kumar Koundal from Jhandutta, Abhishek Thakur from Sundernagar, Rajinder Dhirta from Rohru and Manohar Dhiman from Indora, 

As many as 561 candidates have filed their nominations for the upcoming elections that are scheduled to take place on November 12. The last date for withdrawing the nomination is October 29. 

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