The BJP Sunday announced five-time party MLA Jairam Thakur as the party’s chief minister pick in Himachal Pradesh, after a meeting between the party’s central observers and newly-elected MLAs and other party leaders in Shimla. The 52-year-old leader’s name was proposed by former chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal at the party legislature meeting and it was supported by Union Minister J P Nadda and former minister Shanta Kumar.
The BJP central observers, Nirmala Sitharaman and Narinder Singh Tomar, returned to the state after chaos and confusion prevailed during their previous visit. Supporters of former chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal and Jairam Thakur had raised slogans in favour of their leaders as Sitharaman and Tomar deliberated on who should lead the BJP government in Himachal.
Dhumal, who lost the election in Sujanpur, has made it clear that he was not in the race for the chief minister’s post. Thakur, a five-time MLA from Seraj in Mandi district, was the frontrunner for the job as he enjoys a strong backing of the RSS and a section of BJP MLAs in Himachal.
Thakur was previously part of Dhumal’s cabinet and also worked as the president of the BJP state unit. He is perceived to be a non-controversial pick due to this low-profile.
His election marks a monumental shift in the state politics which saw the successive administrations of Congress’ Virbhadra Singh and BJP’s Dhumal.
3.00 pm: From an ABVP student leader to becoming the next chief minister of Himachal, read all about Jairam Thakur’s meteoric rise here.
2.30 pm: A massive crowd has gathered outside the meeting venue. Jairam Thakur greets his supporters before heading to Raj Bhavan.
2.20 pm: Jairam Thakur: I will try to meet the expectations of the party and national leadership to provide an efficient, honest and people-friendly government.
2.15 pm: I thank everyone, central leadership, Prem Kumar Dhumal ji, who proposed my name, and JP Nadda and Shanta Kumar ji who supported it: Jairam Thakur.
2.10 pm: Jairam Thakur’s name was proposed by former chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal and was supported by Union Minister J P Nadda. Thakur will shortly meet Governor Acharya Devvrat shortly and stake claim to form government in Himachal.
2.00 pm: BJP announced Jairam Thakur as the chief minister of Himachal Pradesh.
1.20 pm: BJP legislature party meeting is currently underway at a hotel in Shimla. BJP MP Shanta Kumar is also among those present. Meanwhile, celebrations have begun at the home district of five-time MLA Jairam Thakur as he is widely expected to be chosen for the role.
1.00 pm: Nirmala Sitharaman and Narinder Singh Tomar, the BJP’s central observers, arrive in Shimla along with Union Minister J P Nadda, BJP MP Anurag Thakur and BJP state in-charge Mangal Pandey. Former chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal is also present at the meeting.