BJP to announce its chief ministerial candidate only after poll

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Dharamshala, Oct 20 (UNI) The BJP will not announce the name of its chief ministerial candidate for Himachal Pradesh before the completion of assembly elections, party incharge Sat Pal Jain said.

Both former union minister Shanta Kumar and former chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal would campaign for the party candidates in the state and the party parliamentary board would announce the name of chief ministerial candidate in consultation with the party legislators, he said in a press conference yesterday.

Taking exception to senior party leader I D Dhiman's recent statement that the next government in the state would be formed under the leadership of Mr Dhumal, Mr Jain said it might be his personal view and had no approval from the party high command.

The party would ask Mr Dhiman to explain under what context he had issued such a statement for which he was not competent, he said and advised leaders not to make such irresponsible statements or be prepared for disciplinary action.

Asserting that the party was fully prepared for the Assembly elections in the state, he said the names of the candidates would be announced soon after Diwali.

He said the BJP had already finalised the names of candidates for the three constituencies of tribal areas in the state and would declare their names on Monday after the party's central election committee's meeting.

Appreciating the Election Commission's decision of rejecting the Congress demand for postponement of assembly elections, he said these were advanced because of a writ filed by three sitting party legislators who had approached the state High Court for holding simultaneous polls for the tribal seats with the remaining 65 seats.

Referring to Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh's recent statement that his government would continue till March 9, next year, he said this proved that the party was not ready to face the electorate.

UNI

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