Former Bharatiya Janata Party chief minister, Prem Kumar Dhumal has changed his constituency and is now contesting from Sujanpur Assembly segments instead of Hamirpur.
BJP State Chief Satpal Satti will fight from Una while former Minister Gulab Singh Thakur will contest from Jogindernagar.
Sources say even if the party decides not to announce its CM candidate, the message has gone out to the public that two-time former chief minister Dhumal would be the man in charge. Former Minister Anil Sharma, who recently switched to BJP from Congress has been given ticket from Mandi.
Union Health Minister J P Nadda, who is also the secretary of the CEC, announced the list after holding separate meetings with Dhumal at Sujanpur and Shanta Kumar in Palampur.
Joti told that the last date for nomination will be 23rd October. Despite any reservations arising from the pending corruption CBI and ED cases against Singh, the move, a leader says, "is evident acknowledgement of the fact that Virbhadra Singh is still the tallest and most popular leader in the Congress". The party aims to use Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Amit Shah's image in poll campaign.
BJP's Rakesh Verma is contesting from Theog, the seat represented by eight-time legislator and Congress veteran Vidya Stokes, 89.
An immediate grant of Rs 50 lakhs was also announced to avoid the criticism from the opposition BJP which has accused Virbhadra Singh of making announcements without budgetary provisions just to woo the voters. Ten Independent candidates filed their nominations on Tuesday from various constituencies, as did Vishwanath Sharma of the CPI (M) from Nahan constituency in Sirmaur.
It has fielded six women candidates, including five new faces and a sitting legislator Sarveen Chaudhary.