Meet Jai Ram Thakur, the next CM of Himachal Pradesh
Jai Ram Thakur has been formally elected as the Himachal Pradesh's chief minister, after some days of indecision by the BJP, despite a convincing win. The BJP, which won 44 seats out of 68 in Himachal Pradesh, found itself in confusion after its chief ministerial face, Prem Kumar Dhumal, could not secure a victory from the Sujanpur Assembly segment.
Thakur is a five-time MLA from Seraj in the Mandi district. The newly elected CM enjoys strong backing from the RSS as well as from a section of BJP MLAs in Himachal. He was previously the president of BJP's Himachal Pradesh wing, and was also part of Prem Kumar Dhumal's cabinet. Thakur is considered to be a non-controversial pick because of his low profile.
Thakur's appointment marks a shift in Himachal politics which had earlier seen successive administrations under Congress's Virbhadra Singh and BJP's Dhumal. His close relationship with JP Nadda ensures the support of top BJP leadership in the state. However, despite the BJP's strong performance in the Mandi district under Thakur's leadership, Thakur might not be a popular choice due to his lack of pan-Himachal appeal.