Bharatiya Janata Party is still in search of a potent leader for Himachal Pradesh's chief minister post.
Bharatiya Janata Party is still in search of a potent leader for Himachal Pradesh’s chief minister post. The selection has been necessitated after Prem Kumar Dhumal, BJP’s earlier choice for chief ministership lost the election from Sujanpur seat. Politically strong Dhumal family was in for an embarrassment after the verdict. The party has two straight (yet not so easy) options left – 1. To announce Dhumal as the chief minister and get him elected to Assembly by making a sitting MLA vacate his/her seat. 2. To announce any other elected leader as the chief minister. While everyone knows what happens if the BJP goes ahead with the first option, there are speculations that the saffron party may not opt for an unsuccessful leader. For the second option, there are three names making the rounds. Union Minister JP Nadda, Seraj MLA Jairam Thakur and Dhumal’s son Anurag Thakur are the people considered to be favourites for the top job.
BJP MLA from Seraj, Jairam Thakur, is being considered as the frontrunner for Himachal Pradesh’s CM post. Previously, Thakur had served as the Minister of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj in Prem Kumar Dumal government. He has served as the Minister of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj.
Thakur was first elected to Himachal Pradesh Assembly from Mandi in the year 1998. Thakur is a senior leader in Himachal Pradesh BJP and elected for 5th term in Vidhan Sabha. Thakur had also contested an unsuccessful Lok Sabha by-election against Virbhadra Singh’s wife Pratibha Singh. He has also served as BJP’s Himachal unit chief from 2007 to 2009. His term as president is considered as non-controversial and acceptable.
Jagat Prakash Nadda
Jagat Prakash Nadda, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare, is the only other person in the fray. Nadda is a senior minister in Narendra Modi cabinet and is believed to be very close the PM and BJP chief Amit Shah. Nadda’s strong association with the RSS is likely to work in his favour. Also, he is a Rajya Sabha member and resignation as a Rajya Sabha member won’t necessitate a Lok Sabha bypoll. Here too, however, one MLA will have to vacate his seat in order to get Nadda elected to Assembly.
Anurag Thakur is the son of Prem Kumar Dhumal. Thakur is an MP from Hamirpur and has formerly served as the chairman of BCCI. Fourty three-year-old Thakur is a three-time MP and known to be one of most liked Gen X leaders by the top party leadership. However, Thakur’s anointment as CM will give opposition a chance to attack BJP for promoting dynastic politics.