Congress declares candidate for Himachal assembly bypoll

Shimla, April 18: The ruling Congress in Himachal Pradesh Friday announced political greenhorn Anita Rana as its candidate for the May 7 by-election in the Sujanpur assembly constituency.

The seat fell vacant following the resignation of independent member Rajinder Rana, who was earlier in the BJP and is now the Congress candidate for the Hamirpur Lok Sabha seat.

His wife Anita Rana is pitted against BJP’s Narender Thakur, a Congress rebel who joined the party lately.

Party sources said Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh was keen to field Anita Rana.

Narender Thakur contested the 2009 Lok Sabha election on a Congress ticket from Hamirpur and lost to BJP’s Anurag Thakur.

Narender Thakur is the son of late Jagdev Chand, a BJP stalwart.

In 2012, Narender Thakur contested and lost the assembly election while representing the Congress against former chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal of the BJP from Hamirpur.

The assembly by-election will be held simultaneously with balloting for the four Lok Sabha seats in the state May 7.