In a dramatic turn of events on the last day of nomination, the Congress party chose to field senior minister, Vidya Stokes, 89, in Theog Assembly segment in Shimla district again.
Confusion prevailed as Deepak Rathore, who was declared as official nominee of Congress for Theog on Sunday evening filed his nomination on Monday morning. After that, getting a go ahead from Congress Vice President, Vidya Stokes too filed her nomination papers in the afternoon.
Initially, she filed as an independent, with Congress confirming her nomination later.
“Stokes is the official nominee of Congress. The other one will withdraw as the ticket was revised,”Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu told The Statesman.
Stokes had earlier shown readiness to vacate Theog for Chief Minister, Virbhadra Singh, planning to retire. However, when Singh chose to contest from Arki, she lobbied to make the local leader, Vijay Pal Khachi as the official nominee. Sources said while Khachi was about to get the ticket, the final list released on Sunday evening surprisingly carried the name of Deepak Rathore.
Sources said upset over this, when Stokes took up the issue with party high command on phone, she was told to file her own nomination.
As many as 476 candidates in all have filed nomination for 68 Assembly segments in Himachal. Out of them 275 filed nomination on the last day on Monday. It includes rebels of Congress and BJP in more than 209 Assembly constituencies. The scrutiny is being done on 24 October and 26 October is the last date of withdrawal.