Party leaves choice of candidate to Sonia Gandhi

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Shimla, Apr 26 (UNI) The Himachal Pradesh Congress Committee (HPCC) has left the choice of the party candidate for Hamirpur parliamentary constituency by-poll to All India Congress Committee (AICC) president Sonia Gandhi, state party president Viplove Thakur today said.

''Senior state party leaders, including Congress Legislative Party (CLP) Vidya Stokes and former chief minister Virbhadra Singh, were present in the meeting held at New Delhi earlier today,'' she told UNI over the telephone from New Delhi.

Lok Sabha bypolls are being held for Hamirpur parliamentary constituency on May 22 following Mr Prem Kumar Dhumal's resignation from the parliament after he was named Himachal Chief Minister following the party's victory in last assembly elections Ms Thakur said the meeting, which was held in the presence of senior party leader and state incharge R K Dhawan, decided to leave the choice of the party candidate to Ms Gandhi, who was likely to name the candidate soon.

She, however, set to rest speculations about finalising the name of any sitting legislator, saying that the party has decided not to field any sitting MLA from the parliamentary constituency.

The BJP, on the other hand, has already announced Mr Anurag Thakur, state Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal's son and HP Cricket Association (HPCA) president, as its candidate.

UNI AS JN JMK1714

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