Big blow for BJP ahead of Himachal Pradesh elections, OBC wing chief turns rebel, to contest as Independent

The ruling Congress has decided to field sitting MLA Pawan Kajal, who won the seat in 2012 as an Independent, whereas Sanjay Choudhary is the BJP nominee from Kangra.

Dharamshala: Uttam Choudhary, the OBC wing chief of Himachal BJP, on Friday announced that he would contest the November 9 state Assembly polls as an Independent from Kangra as the party had not given a ticket to him.

Expressing his anguish, he told a rally, "This has happened with me earlier also. In the last two elections, my name was included in the list of probables, but I was not given a ticket. I have worked for the party whole-heartedly and still I am being ignored."

Stating that he would contest the polls as an Independent, Choudhary added that he would file his nomination tomorrow.

The ruling Congress has decided to field sitting MLA Pawan Kajal, who won the seat in 2012 as an Independent, whereas Sanjay Choudhary is the BJP nominee from Kangra.

Meanwhile, the Congress leadership's decision to field Kajal from Kangra has not gone down well with the local party workers. The Kangra block Congress workers today took out a march on the national highway to protest the decision.

"If the party does not change the nominee by Sunday (October 22), the rebels will field a combined candidate," former MLA Surender Kaku told reporters.

It is learnt that the rebels want to field Rajesh Sharma from the constituency. Sharma, along with Kangra block Congress president Raj Kumar, took part in the march.