Jairam Thakur vows to end 'VIP culture'

Jairam Thakur vows to end 'VIP culture'

The Bharatiya Janata Party (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.

After the BJP swept the recently-concluded state election and suffered a shock loss in Prem Kumar Dhumal's defeat, the race for chief ministership opened up.

During the meeting, Mr Thakur's name was proposed by two-time chief minister Mr Dhumal and seconded by Mr Nadda and another two-time chief minister Shanta Kumar.

Earlier Chief Ministers of Himachal hailed from Shimla, Kangra and Sirmaur districts. Union Health Minister JP Nadda was also said to be in fray for the post, party sources said. Thakur will be sworn in on December 27 in the presence of PM Narendra Modi and party chief Amit Shah, reports The Tribune (TT).

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The doors were apparently shut for Dhumal and Nadda after the central BJP leaders concurred with the views of Kumar.

The Chief Minister-elect, known for his proximity to Nadda, did his graduation from a Mandi college and post-graduation from Panjab University in Chandigarh.

For his part, 52-year-old Thakur, who has been the head of the state unit of the party twice and was considered the second-in-line for the CM's post for a long time, said that: "We will deliver the promises made and will work round the clock to ensure progress and development of Himachal Pradesh".

Thakur, the fourth of five siblings, lost his maiden assembly election in 1993.

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I don't want to get into the personal nature of our conversation. "But we will certainly go forward". He will not entertain any inquiries before the last game has been played.

Thakur, who had headed the state unit of the party between 2006 and 2009, a period during which there was strong infighting in the BJP, would once again have to contend with more than a few sullen faces within.

Thakur was elected to the state Assembly in 1998; and got re-elected in 2003 and 2007 from Chachiot Assembly Constituency, which after the delimitation has been renamed as Seraj.

The decision was taken at a meeting of BJP MLAs.

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