Thakur to be 14th Himachal CM; swearing in on Dec 27

Saul Bowman
December 25, 2017

"Former CM Prem Kumar Dhumal proposed Jairam Thakur to be elected as the Legislature party leader". Finally, the party prevailed upon Dhumal to withdraw his name from the race on Saturday.

A decision on his name was taken unanimously at the Bharatiya Janata Party Legislative Party meeting here, where central observers - Union Ministers Nirmala Sitharaman and Narendra Singh Tomar - were present along with Union Health Minister J.P. Nadda and state party incharge Mangal Pandey.

Sources disclosed Mr Thakur 's name was also finalised as the central leadership was in favor of promoting a second generation leadership in the state.

Thakur, who had headed the state unit of the party between 2006 and 2009, a period during which there was strong infighting in the BJP, would once again have to contend with more than a few sullen faces within.

At 28 years of age, he contested the 1993 Assembly polls from Seraj on a BJP ticket and lost.

Himachal politics has always been dominated by old warhorses Virbhadra Singh, 83, of the Congress and Dhumal, 72.

Thakur is a graduate from Government College, Mandi. He was the first choice for the post, but in the end, despite protests by various camps, including supporters of Thakur and Dhumal in the presence of the central observers, Thakur emerged as the consensus choice of the MLAs, the central leadership and the RSS. Once Thakur was named, there were slogans raised of Jai Shri Ram, and others praising PM Modi.

Now, Dhumal will vie for place for his loyalists in Thakur's cabinet.

"We will try to meet the expectations of the people of Himachal Pradesh". Earlier, Dhumal and Virbhadra Singh had been sworn in there, in 2007 and 2012 respectively.

"The former chief minister's proposed name was supported by Shanta Kumar and JP Nadda", added Tomar. "Himachal is a dev bhoomi and no chance will be given to anyone to bring a bad name to this land".

However, he said, there would be no "political vendetta". He has also taken over the command of Himachal Pradesh BJP.

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