Curtain rungs down on campaigning in HP

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Shimla, May 5: The din and bustle died down as the high-voltage electioneering for four Lok Sabha seats and an assembly bypoll in Himachal Pradesh came to close this evening.

The one-month-long no-holds-barred campaign in the hill state saw Congress and BJP leaders trading charges and hurling personal allegations.

Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh and former CM P K Dhumal spearheaded campaigns of the Congress and the BJP respectively in the state.

BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi and party president Rajnath Singh and Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi addressed a string of poll rallies to woo voters for their party candidates.

The voting on May 7 will seal the fate of 38 candidates, including all four sitting Lok Sabha members and former Chief Minister Shanta Kumar, in Electronic Voting Machines.  

The Congress, BJP, Aam Admi Party and BSP have fielded candidates in all the four seats while the CPI-M is contesting only two seats. Twelve candidates are in the fray in Kangra Lok Sabha constituency, 10 in Hamirpur, nine in Mandi and seven in Shimla (Reserve) constituencies.  

BJP stalwart Shanta Kumar is pitted against Chander Kumar (Cong) and AAP's Rajan Sushant, a sitting MP, among others in Kangra seat.

Sitting Congress MP Pratibha Singh, wife of Virbhadra Singh, is facing BJP greenhorn Ram Swaroop Sharma and AAP Jai Chand Thakur in a nine-cornered contest in Mandi.

Sitting BJP MP Anurag Thakur, son of Dhumal, is facing Rajinder Singh Rana of the Congress in Hamirpur where Kamal Kanta Batra, mother of Kargil martyr Vikram Batra, is also in the fray as AAP candidate.

In Shimla (Reserve) constituency, sitting BJP MP Virender Kashyap is pitted against Mohan Lal Brakta of the Congress and Subhash Chander (AAP) among others.

Only four women candidates, including Pratibha Singh (Cong) and Kamal Kant Batra (AAP), are in the fray.

Anita Kumari Rana (Cong), Narender Thakur (BJP), Parveen Kumar (BSP) and Subhash Chand (Independent) are contesting the Sujanpur assembly bypoll. The counting of votes will take place on May 16.


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