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Jai Ram Thakur to be 14th Himachal CM; swearing in on December 27

The decision was taken at a meeting of BJP MLAs

Press Trust of India  |  Shimla 

Former chief minister P K Dhumal (right) congratulates Jairam Thakur after the latter was chosen as the BJP's  legislature party leader, at a meeting in Shimla. Photo: PTI
Former chief minister P K Dhumal (right) congratulates Jairam Thakur after the latter was chosen as the BJP’s legislature party leader, at a meeting in Shimla. Photo: PTI

Five-time will be the 14th minister of and will be sworn-in on December 27 at a star-studded ceremony attended by Modi and among others.

The 52-year-old Thakur edged past party stalwarts in the race to the top office and will be the first from the politically-significant Mandi region to helm the hill state.

Thanking the party leadership and workers after his Thakur said that swearing in ceremony would take place on December 27.

Singh Tomar, who along with was appointed as a central observer by the BJP, announced that Thakur was chosen to be the next minister as thousands of party workers began celebrating.

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

A former chief minister, Dhumal, was still in the reckoning for the chief minister's post till last night, when he opted out. J P Nadda was another top contender.

Thakur, a former state unit chief and rural in a government headed by Dhumal, was elected the of the legislature party today.

The decision was taken at a meeting of MLAs.

His name was proposed by senior leaders and and seconded by others.

"It is expected that Thakur will take oath as the state's next CM on December 27 at a ceremony where Modi, BJP chief and a galaxy of top leaders would be present," a source said.

Thakur along with senior party leaders handed a letter staking his claim to form the government in to who invited him to do so.

The five time will be the first from Mandi, the second largest district of the state. Himachal's chief ministers and political leaders mostly belong to or hailed from Shimla, Kangra and Sirmour districts.

Mandi has 10 Assembly seats, second only to Kangra's 15.

In this election, the BJP put up a stellar show in Mandi, winning 9 of the district's 10 seats.

Seen largely as a low-profile man, Thakur is from a farming family of Mandi. He did his post-graduation from in Chandigarh and decided to join politics when he was in his 20s.

Thakur contested on a BJP ticket in the 1993 Assembly polls. He lost, but went on to win in 1998 from the now delimited constituency of Chachiot (Seraj) and every Assembly after that.

A soft-spoken man, Thakur's strength is that he is seen as a leader who has managed to straddle the party's warring factions in the state.

A lack of consensus among the newly elected MLAs had resulted in the two central observers -- Union ministers Sitharaman and Tomar -- returning to from Shimla yesterday to hold fresh consultation with the BJP central leadership.

Earlier, the 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.

The BJP ousted the from power by winning 44 out of the 68 seats in the Assembly polls.

First Published: Mon, December 25 2017. 01:36 IST