New Delhi: Even before the official announcement of election schedule for Himachal Pradesh, the BJP on late Friday night issued its first list of 45 candidates, which included Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal who will contest from Hamirpur seat.
The party candidates were finalised following a marathon late night meeting chaired by BJP President Nitin Gadkari.
Also present were Dhumal, former state Chief Minister Shanta Kumar, BJP`s Himachal in charge Kalraj Mishra and co-incharge Shyam Jaju besides other senior party leaders of the BJP`s central election committee.
CM Dhumal, who earlier contested from Bamsan seat has shifted to Hamipur following delimitation. Sitting MLA from Hamirpur Urmil Thakur has been shifted to Sujanpur in the CM`s home district from where his son Anurag Thakur is the Lok Sabha MP.
At the meeting, the BJP finalised all assembly seats from Hamirpur including Education Minister Ishwar Dass Dhiman from Bhoranj; Baldev Sharma from Badsar and Vijay Agnihotri from Nadaun. Hamirpur has five assembly segments.
ID Dhiman has shifted his seat from Mewa to Bhoranj after delimitation.
Importantly, the BJP has again fielded at least eight Ministers in the Himachal Cabinet for state elections. Khimi Ram, Forest Minister will contest from Banjar assembly constituency in Kullu district; Social Welfare Minister Sarveen Chaudhary from Shahpur in Kangra district.
Dhumal`s relative and Revenue Minister Thakur Gulab Singh will contest from Joginder Nagar assembly segment in Mandi district and Industries Minister Kishan Kapoor will contest from Dharamsala. Health Minister Narinder Bragta has been fielded from Jubbal Kotkhai in Shimla.
Panchayati Raj and Rural development minister Jairam Thakur will contest from Siraj assembly seat and Transport Minister Thakur Mahender Singh from Dharampur in Mandi.
Satpal Satti, the BJP President in Himachal, will contest from Una assembly constituency, while former Health minister Rajiv Bindal has been moved from Solan to Nahan. Bindal earlier faced corruption charges and had to resign following charges of amassing disproportionate wealth.
The list was announced after lengthy discussions of the State Election Committee where BJP state president Satpal Satti and Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha president Anurag Thakur were also present so was Meera Aman, State Mahila Morcha President.