Jai Ram Thakur to be the next Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh

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Shimla: Five-time legislator Jairam Thakur will be the new Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh, BJP lawmakers decided today after a meeting to pick their chief, attended by the party's Central observers Nirmala Sitharaman and Narendra Singh Tomar.

The statement of Dhumal, a former chief minister who was the party's candidate for the job again but suffered a shock defeat in the polls, that he was not in contention has come following a nudge from the BJP leadership, sources said.

BJP delegation met Himachal Pradesh governor Acharya Dev Vrat later on Sunday and staked claim to form government in the state. Lack of consensus among the newly-elected MLAs+ had resulted in Sitharaman and Tomar returning to Delhi from Shimla on Saturday to consult with the party's central leadership.

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"Former CM Prem Kumar Dhumal proposed Jairam Thakur to be elected as the Legislature party leader".

A senior party leader told IANS Thakur has "suitable credentials" for the post as he has been a member of ABVP, the student wing affiliated to BJP's ideological mentor Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.

The decision comes a day after Dhumal ruled himself out from the race for the post of Himachal Pradesh chief minister.

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In 2008, he was made Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Minister in the Dhumal government. He holds an MA from Panjab University in Chandigarh.

Thakur lost his maiden assembly election in 1993. Considered a popular face in Himachal Pradesh, Thakur was credited with striking a balance between the warring factions of the BJP. He was elected to Himachal Pradesh assembly from Mandi and had won his first election in the year of 1998. He was also the state unit president between 2006-2009.

Of the total 68 seats, BJP won 44 and congress 21, CPI (M) 1 and independent 2 seats.

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