Jai Ram Thakur to be the next Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh

The BJP named Jai Ram Thakur as legislature party leader in Himachal Pradesh on Sunday to make him the new chief minister of the state.

Speaking to reporters, Thakur said, "I thank everyone, central leadership, Prem Kumar Dhumal ji who proposed my name which was supported by JP Nadda, Shanta Kumar ji". Though Nadda had canvassed hard to be projected as the CM face before the polls, with barely ten days before the elections, party president Amit Shah had announced the name of Dhumal for the top post.

It's also the first time an MLA from Mandi district - where the BJP won nine out of 10 seats this time, in its tally of 44 - will become chief minister. But party sources maintained that sending him to the hill State would have ensured a vacancy in the Union Council of Ministers and also the BJP Parliamentary Board which would have led to some difficulties for the Centre.

Soon after he was elected the Legislature Party leader, Governor Acharya Devvrat appointed Thakur as Chief Minister and invited him to form the government. The decision was taken at a meeting of BJP MLAs. A section of BJP legislators had backed the former chief minister. 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. He was the BJP state president from 2007- 2009.

The BJP had won a landslide in the recently concluded 2017 Himachal Pradesh assembly polls.

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. Known to be a low-profile party loyalist, Thakur was re-elected in 2003 and given charge of the party in 2006. Coming from a humble background, Thakur represents a class of leaders who have worked their way up from the grassroots. He was Minister of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj.

He promised that corruption would remain a top priority of his government, as it was an issue on which the BJP had fought the election.

  • Rogelio Becker