The Bharatiya Janata Party has cleared the first list of 45 candidates for the Himachal Pradesh assembly elections.
Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal, five of his ten ministers and 15 sitting Members of Legislative Assembly figure in the list cleared by the Central Election Committee, chaired by party president Nitin Gadkari and attended among others by patriarch Lal Krishna Advani.
The ministers who have been given tickets are PWD Minister Gulab Singh, Education Minister Ishwar Dass Dhiman, Industries Minister Kishan Kapoor, Social Justice Minister Sarveen Chaudhary and Forest and Tribal Development Minister Khimi Ram.
Other selected MLAs include Rakesh Verma, who had won last time as an Independent.
Party sources said the other candidates will also be announced within a week.
They said the leadership has also asked Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi to forward the list of candidates finalised by the state unit, as both Himachal and Gujarat are scheduled to go to polls together.