New Delhi: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Wednesday announced its list of candidates for the upcoming assembly elections in Himachal Pradesh where the party in opposition is trying to make a comeback.

Although the BJP has not announced its chief ministerial candidate for the polls, former chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal’s name was on the list. Dhumal’s constituency, however, has been changed from Hamirpur to Sujanpur. The president of the BJP’s state unit Satpal Singh Satti will contest from Una.

The BJP has candidates in all the 68 seats in state. They include Anil Sharma, Congress veteran Sukhram’s son, who quit the Congress recently to join the BJP.

The elections will be held on 9 November and counting is set for 18 December. The polls are important for the BJP because the election is a direct contest with the ruling Congress party. The BJP is hopeful that it would be able to return to power in the hill state. During the general elections in 2014, the BJP won all four Lok Sabha seats in the state and the party is keen to maintain its hold on the state.

In a poll related development, the Election Commission (EC) has said that keeping in view the fact that VVPAT (voter verifiable paper audit trail) is to be used in all elections henceforth, the number of electors to be assigned to any polling station should not exceed 1,400.

In a directive to all chief electoral officers in the country dated Tuesday, the EC said that the thermal paper roll used for printing of paper slips “can print approximately 1,500 paper slips only, out of which approximately 100 paper slips are got printed during the process of commissioning of VVPATs and mock-poll at polling stations on poll day."

PTI contributed to this story

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