Jairam Thakur Named Next Himachal CM After Dhumal Withdraws From Race

Hiamchal Pradesh CM-elect Jai Ram Thakur during a BJP MLAs meet in Shimla on Sunday
Hiamchal Pradesh CM-elect Jai Ram Thakur during a BJP MLAs meet in Shimla on Sunday

26 December, 2017

"Thakur was elected BJP Legislature Party leader in the (Himachal Pradesh) Assembly", Tomar told reporters, adding that "no proposal was made for any other candidate".

The two observers had taken feedback from members of the Himachal BJP's core committee, MPs and some MLAs.

"I thank everyone, central leadership, Prem Kumar Dhumal who proposed my name (which was) supported by JP Nadda and Shanta Kumar", Thakur said after the announcement.

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.

Thakur was born in 1965 at Tandi, District Mandi to Jethu Ram Thakur. A section of BJP legislators had backed the former chief minister.

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Had Union health minister JP Nadda been party's choice, there was a possibility of Dhumal's MP son Anurag Thakur being inducted in the Narendra Modi cabinet at the Centre, it is learnt. Finally, the party prevailed upon Dhumal to withdraw his name from the race on Saturday. He holds an MA from Panjab University in Chandigarh.

Thakur's father Jhethu Ram, who was struggling to make ends meet, died on December 25 a year ago.

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

A senior BJP leader told IANS: Thakur has suitable credentials for the top post as he has been a member of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarathi Parishad, the student wing affiliated to the BJP's ideological mentor Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. The Congress, which has been dislodged this time, managed to win 21 seats, while independents had bagged two and Communist Party of India (Marxist) one.

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.

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