Jairam Thakur to take oath as Himachal Pradesh CM on December 27

Jai Ram Thakur

Shimla: Low-profile BJP legislator Jairam Thakur sprinted past party stalwarts to be selected Himachal Pradesh chief minister, becoming the first leader from the politically significant region of Mandi to helm the hill state.

Had Union health minister JP Nadda been party's choice, there was a possibility of Dhumal's MP son Anurag Thakur being inducted in the Narendra Modi cabinet at the Centre, it is learnt.

A strong leader from the Mandi belt, Jairam Thakur has won his fifth straight assembly poll from Seraj seat.

That BJP won 9 out of the ten seats in Mandi bolstered Jairam Thakur's chances.

The meeting of the BJP Legislature Party was attended by the central observers appointed by the party to oversee the CM selection, Nirmala Sitharaman and Narinder Singh Tomar. He was also BJP Himachal Pradesh unit chief from 2006 to 2009. "I am thankful to the party leadership and people of the state for giving me this responsibility and I will make honest efforts to fulfil the promises made to people during election", said Thakur.

Echoing similar sentiments, BJP leader Satpal Singh Satti not only lauded the newly-elected chief minister, but also thanked the people of Himachal Pradesh for helping the party establish a majority in the state in the recently concluded assembly elections. He holds an MA from Panjab University in Chandigarh. He is married to Dr Sadhna Thakur and has two daughters.

A senior BJP leader told IANS: Thakur has suitable credentials for the top post as he has been a member of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarathi Parishad, the student wing affiliated to the BJP's ideological mentor Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.

Thakur's first victory came in 1998 in the legislative election.

The BJP ousted the Congress from power by winning 44 out of the 68 seats. He was one of the top contenders for the post despite his defeat but at the last moment, the Central leadership of the party convinced him and his supporters that this would not send good signal to the rest of the country as the countdown for the general elections of 2019 has already begun.

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