LS bypolls: BJP fields retired Army officer Khushal Singh against Cong"s Pratibha Singh in Mandi

  • | Thursday | 7th October, 2021

Shimla, Oct 7 (PTI) The BJP has fielded Kargil War hero Brigadier (retd) Khushal Singh as its candidate for the Mandi Lok Sabha seat against the Congress" Pratibha Singh for the upcoming bypolls.Khushal Singh filed his nomination papers on Thursday afternoon in the presence of Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur and state BJP chief Suresh Kashyap.The Mandi Lok Sabha seat fell vacant after BJP MP Ram Swaroop Sharma"s death in March.Pratibha Singh, who is the wife of late chief minister Virbhadra Singh, will file her nomination papers on Friday.After filing his nomination papers, Khushal Singh told PTI that 1.5-2 lakh of the total 12,99,563 electors in Mandi are defence personnel, ex-servicemen and their family members and he hoped that most of them will vote for him on October 30.On his opponent Pratibha Singh, he said she will not get any sympathy votes as people will take into account her performance during her two previous tenures as the MP from Mandi.Born in 1954, Khushal Singh hails from Mandi"s Nagwain village. He graduated from Himachal Pradesh University and holds a PG Diploma in Computers and Human Rights.Before joining the Indian Army in 1975, he worked as a village revenue officer for three years. During his 34-year military career, he participated in the Indian peacekeeping mission in Sri Lanka against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).While on a United Nations peacekeeping mission in Sierra Leone, he successfully led Operation Khukhri and liberated 234 soldiers, including 225 Indians, who were being held hostage by rebels.During the Kargil war, he was the commanding officer of the 18 Grenadiers, which captured Tiger Hill and Tololing, which are of strategic importance to India, from Pakistani infiltrators. He was awarded the Yudh Seva Medal and his unit received a record 52 gallantry awards.Post-retirement, he has been involved in social work and politics. PTI DJI DIV DIV

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