The election committee of the state Congress, which met in Shimla to discuss the contenders, forwarded a list of 21 names to the high command.
    
Former minister Chander Kumar and Raghubir Bali, son of Transport Minister GS Bali, have applied from Kangra while sitting MP Pratibha Singh and Lalit Chowdhary are contenders for the Mandi seat.
    
Nine applicants from Hamirpur include former minister Ram Lal Thakur, sitting independent MLA from Sujanpur, Rajinder Rana, Ram Chand Pathania, Arun Thakur and Des Raj Gautam.
    
Eight contenders from Shimla include sitting MLA from Rohroo, Mohan Lal Brakata, former MLA Sohan Lal, Vinod Sultanpuri, son of six time MP, late Krishan Dutt Sultanpuri, Namita Chowdhary, Sunder Singh Banolta and Om Prakash Kataria.
    
The meeting was presided by Himachal Pradesh Congress Committee (HPCC) president Sukhvinder Singh Sukkhu and was attended by Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, state ministers and senior leaders.
    
Later, talking to reporters, Virbhadra Singh said that the party was fully geared to face the Lok Sabha polls and hoped that the high command would take an early decision on candidates so that campaign could take off early.
    
He said that there is no bar on sitting MLAs on contesting the Lok Sabha polls but loyalty to party and winnability would be the main criteria.
    
Replying to a question, Virbhdara Singh said that enquiry in the phone tapping case has almost been completed and challan would be filed in the court shortly.

(Agencies)

Latest News from Himachal Pradesh News Desk