All options open, says Lahaul Spiti Congress legislator

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Shimla, Oct 22 (UNI) The sitting Congress legislator from Lahaul Spiti Raghbir Singh Thakur, who has been denied ticket by the party this time, today hinted at contesting assembly elections against the official candidate, saying all his options are open.

''I will decide my future course of action after holding discussions with my workers and local people, who were happy with my five year tenure in the last assembly,'' he told UNI over the telephone from Rekong Peo.

Expressing surprise over the party's decision to nominate former legislator Phun Chuk Rai in his place, Mr Thakur said he would have gracefully accepted the party's decision if his performance during the last four and half years was not up to mark.

''Local people are largely satisfied with my performance during which I succeeded in getting 100 per cent increase in plus two schools, besides improving facilities in other schools and in primary health centres,'' he said.

Besides, provision was also made in this year's budget for the construction of 16 new bridges in the district, he said, adding that barring a few where detailed project reports (DPRs) were being prepared work on the remaining bridges had already began.

Refuting the party's contention it was following tradition by nomination a person from Spiti Valley this time since he represented Lahaul last time, he said this was not true since Mr Rai had contested against him during the last assembly elections.

Replying to a question why the Congress did not take action against Mr Rai last time when he contested against the official party candidate, Mr Thakur said it was for the party to answer.

Mr. Thakur said he was not hankering after any post or dying to contest these elections since he had already once in 1990 refused to contest when asked by the then Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh to contest to keep his father's promise to allow someone from Spiti contest elections.

UNI

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