The Communist Party of India(Marxist) will not contest the Himachal Pradesh by-elections to two assembly seats next month, a party leader said on Saturday.

“We have decided not to contest the by-elections in Himachal Pradesh this time, but we will support non—Congress and non-BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) candidates,” CPI(M) central committee member and state secretary Rakesh Singha told IANS.

A total of 11 candidates are in the fray for the by-polls from Rohru and Jawali constituencies on Nov 7.

Expressing concern over the rising prices of essential commodities, Mr. Singha said the party would launch a campaign against the anti-people policies of the central and state governments. While there is a Congress-led government at the centre, a BJP government is in place in the state.

In the May general elections, the CPI(M) had fielded one candidate in the state from Mandi.

The Rohru and Jawali constituencies fell vacant after sitting legislators Virbhadra Singh and Rajan Sushant contested and won the Lok Sabha elections.

The main contest is between the Congress and the ruling BJP.

The Congress has fielded former minister Sujan Singh Pathania against BJP’s Baldev Raj Chaudhary from Jawali in Kangra district. From Rohru in Shimla district, the BJP has pitted Khushi Ram Balnatah against Congress’ Manjit Singh.