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Shimla BJP to field Ram Swaroop Sharma from Mandi LS seat

Press Trust of India  |  Shimla 

After withholding the name of party candidate for Mandi seat for four weeks, the finally decided to field state general secretary, Ram Swaroop Sharma to contest against sitting MP, Pratibha Singh, wife of chief minister

The had declared the candidates for Kangra, Hamirpur and Shimla Reserve constituencies last month.

It tried to bring Himachal Lokhit Party (HLP) president Maheshwar Singh, a three-time MP from Mandi back into the party and field him from Mandi but he turned down the offer and announced to oppose both and and support Aam Admi Party (AAP).

Sharma, an worker, has been active in the organisation for past three decades but a new entrant to electoral politics.

"It is a fight between an ordinary party worker and a Raja, who happens to be six-time chief minister but people, would defeat which has done nothing for Mandi", Sharma said.

Referring to the victory of Congress candidate Pratibha Singh by a huge margin in Mandi by-election last year, Sharma alleged, it was a by-election in which Congress had "misused" official machinery and money but this time it is a general election and the state and the BJP would wrest the seat from Congress.

For BJP, the choice fell on Sharma as there was no potential candidate to take on Pratibha, who is seeking re-election from this seat, and the party has tried to send a message that it banked on its cadre and rewarded them.

Sharma said the corruption charges against Virbhadra and his family members, non-performance of party MPs during past one year and dissidence in Congress would help the BJP.

Hailing from Jogindernagar in Mandi, 55-year old, Sharma has been a silent worker. He remained an organising secretary of Mandi district BJP and later of the state BJP and also served as a Vice Chairman of the State Food and Civil Supplies Corporation.

He had left his job as a Welfare Supervisor in the National Hydro Power Corporation (NHPC) in 1984 to join and has also been an active trade unionist.

First Published: Wed, March 26 2014. 21:45 IST