Ending days of speculation, the Bharatiya Janata Party today announced Jairam Thakur as the party’s pick for the new Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh. Union Health Minister JP Nadda was also said to be in fray for the post, party sources said.
Thakur, a five-time legislator and a leader with a clean image, came into reckoning for the CM’s post after the BJP’s CM candidate Prem Kumar Dhumal lost from his constituency though the BJP swept the state.
BJP delegation on Sunday met Himachal Pradesh governor Acharya Dev Vrat and staked claim to form Government in the state.
"The swearing-in ceremony will be held of December 27. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will attend the ceremony," Jairam Thakur told media.
Thakur’s appointment was announced following a short meeting of the BJP’s winning lawmakers in the recently concluded Assembly elections in the state. The meeting was also attended party's central observers comprising Union ministers Nirmala Sitharaman and Narendra Singh Tomar and state party in-charge Mangal Pandey.
“Former CM Prem Kumar Dhumal proposed Jairam Thakur to be elected as the Legislature party leader. Shanta Kumar and JP Nadda also supported this proposal,” Narendra Singh Tomar, said announcing the decision.
Jairam Thakur being greeted by Prem Kumar Dhumal, JP Nadda, Shanta Kumar on being chosen as the Legislature party leader in Himachal Pradesh pic.twitter.com/bjZypjt1U6— ANI (@ANI) December 24, 2017
The 52-year-old had earlier been the party's state unit chief and a minister in a government headed by Dhumal.
“I thank everyone, central leadership, Prem Kumar Dhumal who proposed my name supported by JP Nadda and Shanta Kumar,” Jairam Thakur said addressing the media.
Who is Jairam Thakur?
Hailing from a humble background, Thakur was born into an agricultural family in Mandi district in 1965. He holds an MA from Panjab University in Chandigarh.
At 28 years of age, he contested the 1993 Assembly polls from Seraj on a BJP ticket and lost. In 1998, he was given a ticket again and won decisively and went on to repeat the feat four more times on the trot from the same constituency.
He, however, lost the Mandi Lok Sabha bypoll to Virbhadra Singh’s wife Prathibha Singh in 2013.
In 2008, he was made Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Minister in the Dhumal government. He also held the post of Himachal Pradesh BJP president between 2007 and 2009.
Considered a consensus builder in faction-ridden unit of the BJP, Thakur is said to have played a key role in the BJP won 16 seats in his region.
He is married to ABVP colleague Sadhana Thakur and they have two daughters. Sadhana is a doctor and a Kannadiga who was born and brought up in Jaipur.
The BJP ousted the Congress from power by winning 44 of the 68 seats in fray.