BJP picks Jai Ram Thakur as Himachal's new CM

"Thakur was elected BJP Legislature Party leader in the (Himachal Pradesh) Assembly", Tomar told reporters, adding that "no proposal was made for any other candidate".

However his new government would not allow to further burden the state economy.

Thakur was then elected chief of the BJP legislature party, after his name had been proposed by senior MLAs. Sources say Dhumal didn't object to his name, adding that Thakur is also said to share a good rapport with the other tall leader in the Himachal BJP, Nadda.

"We will try to meet the expectations of the people of Himachal Pradesh".

The BJP wrested power in Himachal from the Congress, winning close to a two thirds majority with 44 seats in the 68-member Assembly.

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Mr Thakur comes from the Mandi region, which till today has never had any saffron party chief minister in the state. Both Nadda and Dhumal are considered to be rival within the state BJP framework. Though Dhumal had managed to get several MLAs, including Virender Kanwar from Kutlehar, to declare that they were willing to give up their seats in his favour, this failed to impress the observers or the party central leadership. Making him an ideal choice for the CM's office by a pro-hindutva leaning party. 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. Central observers had submitted a report after meeting state leaders and RSS leadership in Shimla earlier this week.

Now a five-time MLA and state BJP president, Thakur is armed with a lot of experience in administration and organisation functioning.

Therefore, after the results came, it was always a direct fight between Dhumal and Thakur for the post.

The two observers had taken feedback from members of the Himachal BJP's core committee, MPs and some MLAs.

  • Megan Austin