Jairam Thakur would be new CM of HP


Five-time BJP MLA Jairam Thakur has been declared as the new Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh after he was elected as the leader of the BJP legislature party on Sunday. He would sworn in as new CM on December 27.

The decision was taken at a meeting of BJP MLAs. Thakur’s name was proposed by Suresh Bharadwaj and Mahender Singh and seconded by other members

While former chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal had last night opted out of the race, Thakur, a MLA from Seraj in Mandi district, and Union minister JP Nadda were the frontrunners for the chief minister’s office. A lack of consensus among the newly elected MLAs had resulted in the two central observers — Union ministers Nirmala Sitharaman and Narendra Singh Tomar — returning to Delhi from Shimla yesterday to hold fresh consultation with the central leadership

A two-member team of central observers, which was in the state on December 21 and 22, had taken feedback from members of the state BJP’s core committee, MPs and some MLAs

The BJP ousted the Congress from power by winning 44 out of the 68 seats

The 52-year-old, who represents Seraj, a constituency near Mandi, had earlier been the party’s state unit chief and a minister in a government headed Dhumal. During the counting, as the trends showed Mr Dhumal was heading for defeat, he was the first off the block to take a flight to Delhi to meet the party’s central leadership. But he was not the only contender for the state’s top job.

The buzz was that Union Health Minister JP Nadda, seen as an able organizer and a keen strategist who also has the ear of party chief Amit Shah, was also in the running. A member from the state’s Bilaspur parliamentary seat, Nadda had moved out of the state unit to join the BJP in Delhi as its secretary after he fell out with Dhumal.

Considered a popular Thakur face, the lawmaker from Seraj constituency served as the BJP’s state chief between 2006 and 2009 and was credited with striking a balance between the warring factions


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