Himachal Pradesh is in full swing for the Assembly Elections. Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh will contest from Arki (Solan district) this time, while his son Vikramaditya will contest from Shimla, says sources.
On 16 October, the Congress gave Virbhadra a free hand in deciding the party candidates for the 9 November elections by appointing him the head of the campaign committee in place of Haryana Pradesh Congress Committee (HPCC) president Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu.
Meanwhile, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi had projected Virbhadra as the party's face in the upcoming elections. while addressing a rally in Mandi on 7 October.
A statement released by All India Congress Committee (AICC) general secretary Janardan Dwivedi read, "Gandhi has approved the name of Virbhadra as the chairman of the campaign committee for the assembly elections in the state."
Earlier on 15 October, Virbhadra Singh said that the exit of Sukh Ram and his son, Anil Sharma, from the Congress was expected. He also stressed that the upcoming Himachal Pradesh Assembly elections would not suffer because of their exit.
The Congress leader also remarked that Sukh Ram has had a reputation of changing parties and siding with the winning party.
Responding to speculations of more party members pulling the plug, Singh said, "If one-two people go, it will be good riddance," adding that "there are some old Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders who are planning to join the Congress."
Ahead of the Himachal Pradesh Aassembly elections, cabinet minister Anil Sharma and his father, Sukh Ram, are set to join the BJP. The official announcement may be made later in the day.
The news emerged days after the Election Commission (EC) announced dates for polling in the state.
The state will go to the polls in a single-phase on November 9 and the counting will take place on 18 December.