LEFT CHALLENGER RAKESH SINGHA, 61, CPI(M)
CPI(M) leader Rakesh Singha has emerged as a strong leader in the Shimla belt. Singha began his political career in 1979 as student leader when he was elected as the first president of the HPU Students’ Council. In 1985, he was elected as a member of the Shimla MC. Singha entered the assembly in 1993 but was unseated two years later when he was charged with murder. He was later acquitted. He re-entered the poll arena in 2012, contesting from Theog and got over 10,000 votes despite a brief campaign. The movement he led after the Kotkhai gangrape and murder boosted his campaign.