Sharma was a Cabinet minister in the Virbhadra Singh government and has won the Mandi seat three times. Dhumal, a two-time chief minister, will contest from Sujanpur instead of Hamirpur. However, the Chief Minister chose to contest from Arki constituency as a survey reportedly conducted on his behest had suggested tough contest against BJP candidate.
The BJP has fielded six women in this elections, polling for which will take place on November 9 while the results will be declared on December 18.
Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, who was supposed to contest from Theog after the seat was vacated by leader Vidya Stokes, has been fielded from the Arki constituency in Solan district.
Earlier today, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) also released a list of 68 candidates for Himachal Pradesh Assembly elections. He lost the 2012 assembly polls to BJP's Vijay Agnihotri by a margin of 6750 votes. The Congress has declared Chief Minister Raja Virbhadra Singh as its CM candidate and made him chairman of the campaign committee replacing his bitter rival State Congress chief Sukhwinder Sukhu.More news: Las Vegas massacre shock twist as security guard disappears
Asked about the presence of a "Modi wave" in the state, chief minister said that when the "Modi wave is not working in Gujarat..." Dhumal and Union minister J P Nadda are seen as two most likely choices for the post of chief minister if the saffron party comes back to power in the Congress-ruled state.
Maheshwar Singh, who merged his Himachal Lokhit Party (HLP) with BJP has been fielded from Chopal.
Nominations for the elections that began on October 16 are closing on October 23. Incidentally, the selection of women was the reason for the party delaying its list of candidates. Congress will be announcing the official list at the earliest.
Close on the heels of the BJP announcing its list for the Himachal Pradesh Assembly Elections 2017, the Congress released a list of 59 candidates.