Theog Constituency drama leaves Congress perplexed as Stokes’ nomination rejected
Shimla: The Returning officer of the Theog Constituency has rejected the nomination filed by the veteran Congress leader Vidya Stokes (89) on the last date. Now, she won’t be able to fight as an independent candidate either.
The set-back came following an intense drama over the Theog seat. Not only Congress faced distress in one section of party workers, but also exposed the party’s internal politics and miscommunication.
Here is what happened
A day before the last date for the filing of nomination, the list of final candidates included the name of Deepak Rathore as the ticket-holder from Theog, while the Chief Minister were seen congratulating Mr. Khachi .
As per the political critics and experts, Stokes had vacated the seat for the Chief Minster who had sacrificed Shimla-rural constituency to introduce his son. However, after Virbhadra Singh moved to Arki, Stokes expressed her right to nominate a candidate of her choice, which was Vijaypal Khachi, son of late Congress leader JBL Khachi,
However, the high-command and state committee gave the ticket to Deepak Rathore, who even filed the nomination.
At the same time, Virbhadra Singh tweeted a photo in which he was congratulating Khachi for securing a ticket. The tweet was later deleted, however.
Stokes had even announced her retirement but on the last date, she files her nomination as a Candidate representing Congress party. It was speculated that Rathore would contest as an independent candidate as Stokes would take back the charge as the official candidate from Theog.
Congress was left red-faced after her nomination was rejected today. As per the rule there could be only one official claimant for the party symbol. Moreover, she had failed to produce 10 proposers, as mentioned in the RO handbook. Also, Rathore had filed the nomination with party authority letter first.
As per critics, it is a blunder that could affect the results because Stokes had won past three elections successively.