Congress, BJP ticket seekers camp at Delhi

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Shimla, Nov 17 (UNI) Ahead of the second phase of polling in Himachal Pradesh on December 19, the candidates seeking tickets from the Congress and the BJP have rushed to Delhi to lobby with their respective leadership.

The Congress' screening committee is meeting at New Delhi tomorrow to shortlist the candidates and submit the list to the Parliamentary Board along with comments about merits and demerits of individual candidates.

Reports that Congress in search for new faces with winning potential to neutralise the anti-incumbency factor has made the several senior Congressmen jittery.

There are indications that some ministers and sitting legislators with poor track record might be axed and replaced by more acceptable faces.

Besides, the decision of the senior Congress leaders like Revenue Minister Sat Mahajan, former union minister Sukh Ram and Animal Husbandry Minister Harsh Mahajan not to seek re-election is adding to the troubles of the party.

However, the Congress High Command is keen on fielding Harsh Mahajan, considered to be a winning candidate, from Chamba constituency and has been reportedly summoned to Delhi, ahead of meeting of the screening Committee.

The Congress High Command may, however, allow Mr Mahajan and Mr Ram to opt out of the fray and make room for their sons.

The screening committee, consisting of senior Congress leaders Moti Lal Vora, Mohsinha Kidwai, R K Dhawan, Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh and HPCC president Viplov Thakur, would also consider the recommendations of the state election committee (SEC), which was earlier asked to give its comments about the merits and demerits of 500 odd applicants.

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