Himachal Pradesh

Two Himachal BJP MPs may be dropped

Agency | March 22, 2019 08:02 PM

SHIMLA: In a clear signal from the BJP's first list of candidates, party's veterans from Himachal Pradesh - among them Shanta Kumar, 84, a member of the outgoing house - may not be fielded for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections owing to the party's age bar.

Sources in the party said the high command is also keen to replace Shimla's (reserved) second consecutive term MP Virender Kashyap.

The hill state has four Lok Sabha seats and all are represented by the BJP.

A closed-door meeting was held between state Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur and Kumar in New Delhi last week for finalising candidates, including the latter's replacement.

"The party doesn't want to annoy its senior leader Shanta Kumar. So the high command has asked Jai Ram Thakur to hold talks with him to look for his prospective replacement," a senior party leader told IANS.

Kumar, a Brahmin who is widely respected in state's Kangra district, has been saying he may stay away from electoral politics this time and has left the final decision to the party high command.

Hamirpur's three-time MP Anurag Thakur, who is facing anti-incumbency, and Mandi first-time MP Ram Swaroop Sharma, who is known for his proximity to Chief Minister Thakur, may be retained this time, a senior leader said.

The BJP had initially decided to field its sitting MPs from all the four seats.

The BJP had created history in 2014 Lok Sabha elections by sweeping all four seats.

The party, which is also at the state's helm, wants a repeat of the 2014 performance under the (Prime Minister) Narendra Modi factor.

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