Names of candidates to be finalised next week: Jain

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Shimla, Oct 17 (UNI) The BJP today said the names of party candidates for three tribal assembly seats of Bharmaur, Lahaul Spiti and Kinnuar of Himachal Pradesh will be announced next week after being cleared by the Central Election Committee (CEC).

''The CEC is meeting at New Delhi next week to finalise the names of the candidates who will contest elections from the three tribal seats of the state,'' party incharge Satpal Jain told UNI.

Referring to the opposition to former animal husbandry and Public Works minister Ram A Markanday's candidature from Lahaul Spiti constituency by four BJP leaders, he said senior party leaders were in constant touch with them and the matter would be resolved sooner than later.

''The party will be successful in reining in the leaders and keep its flock intact,'' he said.

Ruling out any dissension within the party over the allotment of tickets, he said ''small irritants'' would be resolved once the names of the candidates were announced by the CEC.

Four BJP leaders Mohan Lal Religpa, Sohan Singh, Champa Chhering and Rigjin Hairapa yesterday said they would oppose Markanday's candidature as he had recently joined BJP after resigning from HVC and Congress.

Besides, he said, the party, which was most likely to return to power after the elections was certain to face a few small things with people trying to be close to it.

Referring to BSP claims that it would win over 50 assembly seats in the state, he said only Congress and BJP were the main players in the state as of now.

''Whatever the BSP claims, it is not likely to win more than one or two seats since the situation in Uttar Pradesh, where it is heading a government, and Himachal Pradesh are quite different,'' he said.

In Himachal Pradesh, Mr Jain, said the polarisation was normally between the BJP and the Congress, as caste plays little or no role during the polls.

Claiming that the BJP would win over 45 to 50 seats in the coming elections, he said the Congress would bag anything between 15 to 18 seats.

He claimed the people of the state have already made up their mind to vote against the Congress, which would suffer a humiliating defeat in these elections.

UNI

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