Candidates for bypoll to be declared by October 4: Kuldeep Rathore

Lalit Mohan

Tribune News Service

Dharamsala, October 1

The Congress will decide its candidates for the forthcoming one parliamentary and three Assembly seats in Himachal by October 4. HPCC president Kuldeep Rathore, who was here today, said this while talking to The Tribune.

Rathore said the meeting of the HPCC to shortlist the candidates for the bypolls would be held in Shimla on October 2. The HPCC would send the list of shortlisted candidates to the party high command the same day. The high command was likely to announce the candidates by October 4, he said.

Asked if Pratibha Singh, wife of former Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, would contest the elections, Rathore said the party high command was in touch with her. She would contest the elections, as per her wishes. The party holds former Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh and his family in high regard.

About the issues on which the Congress would contest the elections, Rathore said that in Shimla district the exploitation of apple farmers by corporates and middlemen this year would be the rallying point. The apple farmers despite reaping a bumper crop this year suffered losses.

The Congress has stood by apple farmers in the state and they are in a mood to punish the current BJP government for not doing anything to save them from exploitation, he said.

Rathore said that in Kangra district the Congress would rake up the issue of area being ignored by the government. The government did not give any major project to Kangra district in the last four years. Besides, many offices were shifted from the district. The unemployment rate in Kangra district was the highest in the state. The party would go for Fatehpur Assembly bypolls with these issues, he said.

He said the Congress would also raise the issue of price rise. The prices of petrol and LPG were highest ever. The poor people, who were given free LPG cylinders by the government, are not being able to refill their cylinders in rural areas. The prices of food grains and edible oils even under the PDS scheme of the state have been increased putting financial burden of poor.

Rathore said the Congress was united and there were no groups in Himachal.

Cong to raise price rise, farmers' exploitation

  • Exploitation of apple farmers in Shimla by corporates and middlemen to be the rallying point, the HPCC chief said.
  • The party to raise the issue of the government ignoring Kangra district. The government did not give any major project to the district in the past four years.
  • The price rise to be an election issue.
Courtesy: Tribune News Service

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