December 18, 2017 11:52:23 am
Going by the early trends of vote counting in Himachal Pradesh Assembly elections, BJP’s CM candidate Prem Kumar Dhumal from Sujanpur assembly constituency is trailing his protege-turned-bête-noir Rajinder Rana, who is leading from Sujanpur. And if the trends remain unchanged, the BJP may have to re-think about its CM pick.
Though the BJP was initially reluctant to announce CM face in Himachal this time, it relented after much pressure from Dhumal, his supporters and the fact that he belonged to dominant Thakur community that has 28 per cent population in the state.
BJP national president Amit Shah announced Dhumal as party’s chief ministerial candidate just nine days ahead of the Himachal elections.
Though the party was upbeat after announcing the CM candidate, rival Sujanpur Rana, however, went around saying he had worked in Sujanpur for the past 15 years while Dhumal was contesting from here for the first time.
Before Dhumal’s name was announced, several names, including that of union minister JP Nadda and BJP’s organisational secretary for North and RSS Parcharak Ajay Jamwal were doing the rounds. Jamwal, however, did not contest election while Nadda is considered to be more of an organisational man.
BJP sources said in case Dhumal loses, then Jai Ram Thakur, who is a four-time winner from Seraj constituency in Mandi district and who has a strong RSS background too, can be BJP’s pick. Jai Ram was also a minister in last BJP government.
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