HP minister rules himself out from assembly polls

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Shimla, Oct 13 (UNI) A senior minister in the Himachal Pradesh Government today refused to contest the state assembly elections, to be held in two-phases in November 14 and December 19, citing personal reasons.

Animal Husbandary Minister Harsh Mahajan, in a letter to his constituency electorate and local press here, said though he would not contest the assembly elections due to personal reasons, be would continue to serve the party as its loyal activist.

''I had made up by mind two days ago not to contest these assembly elections this time,'' he told UNI here, refusing to add anything to what he had already said in his release.

Asserting that the Congress would return to power after the elections under Virbhadra Singh who would again head the state, he said Congress always stood for development and progress of the state and the country.

Mr Mahajan said during his long political career with the Congress he had served the people of his constituency to the best of his ability and with honesty.

''The development in my constituency is not hidden and was there to see for everyone.'' Referring to various development works initiated in the constituency during his different tenures as a legislator and a minister, he said he was elected to the state assembly thrice following his close rapport with the electorate and various developmental works.

The minister's letter could not have come at a worst time for the state Congress, which has already questioned the Election Commission's decision to hold elections to the state assembly a good five months before it terms came to an end on March nine, next year.

UNI

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