"The Congress has pitched BJP rebel Rajinder Rana against BJP's sitting MP Anurag Thakur."
Shimla, April 26 - Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi and BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi to hold election rallies in Himachal Pradesh next week, party leaders said Saturday.

Congress president Sonia Gandhi will address her first public meeting and canvass for the party candidates in Kullu town, some 250 km from Shimla, state vice president and former minister Harsh Mahajan told IANS.

A day before her visit, party vice president Rahul Gandhi would address two public meetings - at Bilaspur and Solan towns.

Modi will address three public rallies in the state April 29.

While the first rally will be held in Palampur town, the remaining two will be held in Mandi and Solan towns, Bharatiya Janata Party state spokesperson Ganesh Dutt told reporters.

Palampur is part of the Kangra constituency from where former two-time BJP chief minister Shanta Kumar is in the fray. The Congress has fielded Chander Kumar, who defeated Shanta Kumar in 2004.

In the Mandi parliamentary constituency, BJP greenhorn Ram Swaroop Sharma is pitted against two-time MP Pratibha Singh, wife of Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh.

Solan is part of the Shimla - constituency, where BJP's sitting MP Virinder Kashyap is facing Congress' Mohan Lal Bragta.

The BJP managed to win the Shimla seat, which was a known Congress bastion, for the first time in 2009.

Earlier, Modi held a public rally Feb 16 in Sujanpur town, part of the Hamirpur constituency, the BJP's pocket borough, and Rahul Gandhi in Dharamsala town March 20.

The Congress has pitched BJP rebel Rajinder Rana against BJP's sitting MP Anurag Thakur.

A total of 38 candidates will be in the fray for the four Lok Sabha seats in the state that will go to polls May 7.


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