Low-key leader to be Himachal CM

Jairam Thakur to be the next CM of Himachal Pradesh

Jai Ram Thakur is all set to swear-in as the chief minister of Himachal Pradesh on Wednesday, December 27.

Union minister Narendra Singh Tomar and other leaders congratulating Jairam Thakur after he was chosen as the Legislature leader, in Shimla on Sunday. "I thank all legislators for supporting my candidature".

Sources disclosed that though Mr Thakur's name was announced at the legislature party meeting in the afternoon in Shimla, he had received a call from the party top brass in the morning about his name being finalised.

A big factor that went in favour of Thakur was that he hails from the influential Rajput community, which is also represented by the BJP's original CM candidate Prem Kumar Dhumal, who lost the polls from Sujanpur.

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First saffron leader from Mandi region to head state. Supporters of both Mr Thakur and Prof Dhumal had clashed recently outside the venue of a meeting of central observers earlier.

The Seraj MLA, a throughbred RSS man, emerged as the frontrunner for the top post after the shock defeat of BJP's chief ministerial face Prem Kumar Dhumal in the State Assembly polls, the results of which were announced last week.

Thakur's name was finalised by the core committee of the party in the presence of observers from Delhi after much deliberations amid name of Union Minister Jagat Prakash Nadda also making rounds for the coveted post. With his elevation as chief minister, BJP also has sorted out the leadership issue for quite some time as he is only 52 now.

His name was proposed by senior leaders Suresh Bhardwaj and Mahender Singh and seconded by others. Despite being defeated, Thakur contested the next Assembly elections in 1998 from the Mandi constituency and won by a comfortable margin. However, he continued to nurture and consolidate the seat and won the next elections. He was Minister of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj. Their efforts paid off as Thakur acquired an MA degree from Panjab University in Chandigarh. He was also the state unit president between 2006 and 2009.

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