The BJP on Sunday elected Jairam Thakur as the leader of the legislature party leader thereby making it clear that he will be the next chief minister of Himachal Pradesh.Speaking to media, Thakur said, “I thank everyone, central leadership, Prem Kumar Dhumal ji who proposed my name supported by JP Nadda, Shanta Kumar ji.” The BJP had won a landslide in Himachal Pradesh in the just concluded assembly polls.
A decision in this regard was unanimously taken at the BJP Legislative Party meeting where central observers — Union Ministers Nirmala Sitharaman and Narendra Singh Tomar were also present along with Union Health Minister J P Nadda and state party in-charge Mangal Pandey., reported IANS.
“Thakur was elected as the BJP legislature party leader in the (Himachal Pradesh) Assembly,” Tomar told reporters, adding “no other proposal was made for any other candidate”.
Thakur’s name was proposed by two-time former Chief Minister P K Dhumal and seconded by Nadda and another two-time Chief Minister Shanta Kumar.
The Chief Minister-elect will meet state Governor Acharya Dev Vrat to formally stake the claim to form the government in the hill state.
In his first remarks after being elected as the BJP legislature party leader, Thakur thanked all party leaders including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, party chief Amit Shah, Nadda, Dhumal and Shanta Kumar.
“We will try to meet the expectations of the people of Himachal Pradesh. Our dream of a Congress-free Himachal Pradesh has been realised,” Thakur told reporters.
The BJP took almost a week to decide on the Chief Minister candidate after after its Chief Ministerial candidate Prem Kumar Dhumal lost his election. Several names kept doing rounds for the past few days including Nadda, MLA Suresh Bharadwaj besides Dhumal and Thakur.
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 J P 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, reported PTI.
Thakur, is turning 53 on January 6, belongs to the Rajput community that has a significant presence in the state.
He won his fifth consecutive assembly election from Seraj, earlier known as Chirchot, in Mandi district, defeating Chet Ram of the Congress. He was a cabinet minister in the previous BJP government in the state led by Prem Kumar Dhumal from 2007 to 2012.