Five-time MLA Jairam Thakur to be new Himachal CM

26 December, 2017, 01:49 | Author: Phil Peters
  • 5-time MLA Thakur is BJP’s HP CM

Shimla: Low-profile BJP legislator Jairam Thakur sprinted past party stalwarts to be selected Himachal Pradesh chief minister, becoming the first leader from the politically significant region of Mandi to helm the hill state.

This ended almost a week of suspense and tussle within the party for the top post since former chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal - who was named by the party as its CM's face before the polls - failed to win his own election from Sujanpur.

During the meeting, Mr Thakur's name was proposed by two-time chief minister Mr Dhumal and seconded by Mr Nadda and another two-time chief minister Shanta Kumar.

His appointment came after a long round of deliberations between party-appointed observers and central ministers Nirmala Sitharaman and Narendra Tomar, and the newly-elected MLAs.

He distributed fruits to the children and patients at Deen Dayal Upadhaya hospital, Shimla on occasion of birthday of former Prime Minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

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Seen largely as a low-profile leader, Thakur is from a farming family in Mandi.

Union minister J P Nadda was also said to have been in the running for the top office but sources said his name was just a red herring to keep Dhumal on the defensive.

To present a united face and undo the harm done by the factional fight, the party leadership had suggested that Mr Dhumal and Mr Nadda should be present in the legislature party meeting. Thakur, who is five-time MLA from Seraj in Mandi district, has the backing of the RSS and a section of BJP MLAs in Himachal. He holds an MA from Panjab University in Chandigarh.

Thakur, a former state unit chief and rural development and panchayati raj minister from 2010 to 2012 in the government headed by Dhumal, is a Rajput leader considered close to the RSS. He contested the assembly election again in 1998 and since then has won all five assembly elections consecutively with huge margins. He was the BJP state president from 2007- 2009. The results for Himachal elections were declared on 18 December 2017 and BJP won the polls with a comfortable majority.

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