Jairam Thakur new Himachal Chief Minister

Posted December 26, 2017

Former BJP state unit president and five-time MLA Jairam Thakur was on Sunday chosen as the next chief minister of Himachal Pradesh by newly-elected party MLAs in Shimla.

A big factor that went in favour of Thakur was that he hails from the influential Rajput community, which is also represented by the BJP's original CM candidate Prem Kumar Dhumal, who lost the polls from Sujanpur. The meeting was attended by the party's Central observers Nirmala Sitharaman and Narendra Singh Tomar. A section of BJP legislators had backed the former chief minister. He is now due to take oath as chief minister on December 27.

Elaborate security arrangements are being made for the ceremony and the prime minister is likely to address people at the Ridge. Thakur's name was proposed by Suresh Bharadwaj and Mahender Singh and seconded by other members.

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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. The five-time MLA has the grassroots connect and can claim to have risen through the state BJP ranks, unlike a number of other local leaders in both the Congress and the BJP, who enjoy their current position in the party thanks to their lineage as against the work they have done on the ground. In these elections, the BJP won nine out of the 10 assembly seats in Mandi. That would makes Thakur the first chief minister from the politically sensitive belt of Mandi, where the BJP won 9 out of ten seats.

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.

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