Jairam Thakur takes oath as 14th CM of Himachal Pradesh

27 Dec 2017 | By Krunali Shah

Five-time MLA Jairam Thakur has taken oath as Himachal CM. He was elected to helm the state after the party's CM-candidate Prem Dhumal failed to win.

The ceremony took place at the historic Ridge Maidan in Shimla. It was attended by PM Narendra Modi, HM Rajnath Singh, BJP president Amit Shah, LK Advani, UP CM Yogi Adityanath among others.

Here's more about him.

In context: Jairam Thakur: A profile

27 Dec 2017Jairam Thakur takes oath as 14th CM of Himachal Pradesh

Early daysBorn to a poor family, Thakur struggled to complete education

Thakur was born to a poor family in 1965 in Tandi village. His mason father struggled to make ends meet.

Thakur went to a local school. After matriculation, he dropped out before joining college. Thakur recollects, "I realized my parents could not have afforded my college education."

He saved money and completed his Bachelor of Arts (BA) from a Mandi college.

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ABVPWhile in college, Thakur became active in politics

Reports indicate that Thakur worked during the day and went for classes in the evenings.

Thakur joined ABVP, RSS's student wing, while doing his graduation. After he graduated, he dedicated himself completely to the organization.

As part of ABVP, he volunteered and worked in Jammu, for 3-4 years. Later, because of his stellar dedication, he was elevated as ABVP's state secretary in 1986.

LossIn 1990s, Thakur began his career in public service

Thakur's family was proud of his academic achievements. They had expected him to take up a job after his MA. However, that wasn't to be. In the 90s, as part of Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha, he popularized Advani's Ram Mandir movement in Himachal.

In 1993, he became BJP's state president. He also contested the Assembly polls from Seraj on a BJP ticket but lost.

ComebackBut, Thakur bounced back and made a mark

After his loss, Thakur didn't give up. He again secured a BJP ticket in 1998 and won. He repeated this feat four times.

He was made BJP state chief in 2006; under his leadership BJP won the 2007 Assembly polls. In 2009, he was made rural development and panchayati raj minister in Dhumal's government.

He is credited to have developed Himachal's most backward areas.

Now, how did Thakur get a chance to become CM?

Apart from his proximity to the national leadership and the RSS/ABVP background, Thakur's credentials worked for him to be declared as the CM. In Mandi, BJP won 9 of 10 seats. Further, he belongs to the Rajput community that constitutes 33% of the electorate.
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ChallengesWhat are the challenges before Thakur?

So, what are the challenges before Thakur?

He is a consensus-builder in the Himachal BJP's faction-ridden team. The first CM from Mandi has his work cut out. He will have to fill the state's depleting coffers. Thakur also aims to reduce VIP culture.

He may also focus on women's safety and law and order after the Kotkhai gangrape shook the hill state.

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