Jammu, Nov 28 (UNI) Weakening hopes of winning party man Yashpal Sharma back into the party, died out today as the leading party of the state was dumbstruck after he refused to withdraw as an independent candidate in the Poonch By-Polls scheduled for December 12.
Sources said that despite various pressures and requests, Yashpal Sharma rejected the offer to stay away from the polls. ''Yashpal Sharma, who was a leading candidate for the Congress in the Assembly Elections 2002 and gave a tough fight to the National Conference MLA Late Ghulam Mohammad Jan but lost, sources told UNI adding that he was hopeful of getting mandate from the party for the Poonch By-Polls.
However, choosing Jahangir Mir as a Congress candidate for the Polls turned the tables and Yashpal Sharma finally announced his independent fight against Congress, sources said.
Sources also said that Yashpal, who is also a cousin of Minister for Industries and Irrigation Romesh Sharma, was also lured with a Council seat but however, Yashpal Sharma resisted all pressures and did not withdraw from the fray.
Meanwhile eight candidates from leading parties as well as minnows have finalised their candidates for the Poonch By-Polls.
From Congress Jahangir Mir, National Conference's Aijaz Jan, BJP's Pradeep Sharma would be the front- runners while Janak Singh of Kissan Mazdoor Party is also in the fray along with Shah Mohd Tantrey, Vakil Iftikhar Ahmad Bazmi and Peer Nissar Hussain Shah as independent candidates for the Poonch by-polls.