Himachal Pradesh by-poll: Congress picks Pratibha Singh as candidate for Mandi Lok Sabha seat

Besides Pratibha Singh’s name, Congress also announced Bhawani Singh Pathania as its candidate for Fatehpur; Sanjay Awasthi for Arki and Rohit Thakur for Jubbal-Kotkhai Assembly constituencies

Pratibha Singh
Pratibha Singh
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Bipin Bhardwaj

The Congress on Tuesday picked Pratibha Singh, wife of former Himachal Pradesh chief minister Virbhadra Singh, as its candidate for the Lok Sabha by-election for Mandi constituency, to be held on October 30.

The Congress released the list of candidates for by-elections to be held for Mandi Lok Sabha and three Assembly segments comprising Arki, Jubbal-Kotkhai and Fatehpur.

Besides Pratibha Singh, the party also announced Bhawani Singh Pathania as its candidate for Fatehpur; Sanjay Awasthi for Arki and Rohit Thakur for Jubbal-Kotkhai Assembly constituencies.

A two-time MP from Mandi, Pratibha Singh was keen to contest on the request of her supporters after the death of her husband Virbhadra Singh, sources disclosed. She had defeated Ashray Sharma, a grandson of former Union minister Sukh Ram, in the 2019 parliamentary poll.

Ashray Sharma was in the race for the ticket from the Mandi Lok Sabha seat that fell vacant after the death of Ram Swaroop Sharma, a BJP MP from this seat.


Sources informed that the party felt that Pratibha is a far more formidable candidate than Ashray Sharma while Sanjay Awasthy is the party’s choice for Arki. The Congress could face a problem in Arki as Baldev Thakur was also in the race for the ticket.

For Jubbal-Kotkhai, the Congress fielded a mass leader Rohit Thakur, a two-time MLA and grandson of former CM Ram Lal Thakur, and Bhawani Singh Pathania, while son of former Congress leader late Sujan Singh Pathania is the party’s pick for Fatehpur Assembly constituency. This seat fell vacant after Sujan Singh Pathania’s demise.

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