Madan Lal fails to get Congress ticket from Himachal

April 3rd, 2009 - 1:37 am ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party Shimla, April 3 (IANS) Former cricketer Madan Lal failed to get the Congress ticket for Himachal Pradesh’s Hamirpur parliamentary constituency as the party high command Thursday decided to allot it to Narinder Thakur, a former Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader who joined the party recently.
The Congress had earlier announced the candidature of Madan Lal, who was facing trouble as senior state leaders, including former chief minister Virbhadra Singh, came out openly against his nomination.

The state’s ruling BJP has announced Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal’s son and sitting MP Anurag Thakur as its contestant from Hamirpur, which the party considers its stronghold.

“The party has now decided to give the party ticket to Thakurji (Narinder Thakur) as Madan Lal is not well,” said Himachal Congress Committee president Kaul Singh Thakur.

“It’s the decision of the party high command, we respect it. We were respecting its earlier decision too (on the candidature of Madan Lal),” he said. “Moreover, Madan Lal is in hospital due to some heart problem.”

Sources in the party said the decision regarding Madan Lal was due to the victory of the group led by five-time former chief minister Virbhadra Singh.

Virbhadra Singh, candidate from the Mandi seat, charged “certain vested interests” within the party of being hand-in-glove with Chief Minister Dhumal and helping him by fielding a weak candidate against his son.

“I would personally request the party high command to reconsider its decision regarding allotment of the ticket to Madan Lal,” Virbhadra Singh had said.

He held Congress Legislature Party leader Vidya Stokes, legislators G.S. Bali and Sukvinder Sukhu and Minister of State for External Affairs Anand Sharma responsible for fielding Madan Lal.

Reacting to Narinder Thakur being given the ticket, a senior Congress leader said: “Madan Lal has returned from the pitch (electoral battle) as retired hurt.”

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