As many as 275 candidates, including former chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal and Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh’s son Vikramaditya, on Monday filed their nomination papers for the Himachal Pradesh Assembly polls. October 23 was the last day for filing nominations for the November 9 polls.
With this, the total number of nominations filed for the polls went up to 479. 95 nominations were filed on Saturday, the penultimate day to file nominations for the high-stakes poll.
On Monday, 119 candidates filed nomination for 15 seats in Kangra, 74 candidates for 10 seats in Mandi, 64 for eight seats in Shimla, 41 for five seats in Hamirpur, 28 for five seats in Chamba, 29 for five seats in Solan.
27 candidates filed their nomination for five seats in Sirmaur, 47 for five seats in Una, 17 for four seats in Bilaspur, 23 for four seats in Kullu, five each for one seat in Lahaul and Spiti, and Kinnaur constituencies.
A confusion ensued over Congress' official candidate form Theog seat in Shimla district. Congress leader Deepak Rathore had first filed his nomination from Theog seat, but the party later announced that veteran leader and Irrigation and Public Health Minister Vidya Stokes (89) would be the official candidate.
Stokes had left the seat for Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh and after the latter chose to contest the upcoming polls from Arki, she again staked her claim from Theog.
Stokes has contested assembly polls ten times since 1974 and lost twice in 1977 and 1993.
Virbhadra's son Vikramaditya Singh filed his nomination from Shimla Rural constituency on Monday. He was accompanied by his father, mother Pratibha Singh and sister Aparajita Kumari to file nomination papers, after visiting Shimla’s famous Kali Bari temple.
His name had appeared in the third list of candidates released on Sunday. The second list containing seven names was released hours before the third list.
The first list of 59 Congress candidates was declared on October 18. The state has a 68-member assembly.
Health Minister Kaul Singh's daughter Champa Thakur, who had filed her nomination papers as an Independent from the Mandi seat, was declared official Congress candidate in the third list that had only two names.
Former minister Anil Sharma, son of former Union communication minister Sukh Ram who recently joined the BJP, also filed his nomination from Mandi seat. The Mandi seat is considered a strong Congress bastion and Sharma is a three-time legislator from this seat.
Dhumal filed his nomination from Sujanpur; Sukku entered the fray from Nadaun, while Vikramaditya Singh filed his papers from Shimla (Rural) constituency, vacated by his father Virbhadra Singh.
Deputy Speaker Jagat Singh Negi filed his nomination from Kinnaur.
Over two dozen rebel leaders of the Congress and the BJP who were denied tickets also joined the fray as independents.
(With PTI inputs)