Jairam Thakur new Himachal Chief Minister

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Since along with Thakur and Dhumal, four-time MLAs Suresh Bharadwaj and Mahender Singh had also expressed their desire to be considered for the top post, the party made them formally propose Thakur's name at the meeting.

After his name was officially announced as the next CM of the hill state, the chief minister-elect along with the party's central observers and other leaders met governor Acharya Dev Vrat to stake claim for government formation.

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Thakur's appointment was announced following a short meeting of the BJP's winning lawmakers in the recently concluded Assembly elections in the state. As reported by the media sources Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, two-time former CM Prem Kumar Dhumal, Union Health Minister JP Nadda, Kangra Lok Sabha MP Shanta Kumar, state BJP president Satpal Singh Satti and party MPs Anurag Thakur, Virender Kashyap and Ram Swaroop were also present at that time. This was a clear sign that BJP was not keen on sending its central leaders or ministers to the states as CM.

While a majority of BJP-RSS cadre was backing Mr Thakur's name for the top post, a section within the state unit was also lobbying hard for Mr Dhumal.

He said around 10 Chief Ministers had promised to attend the oath-taking ceremony.

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A generational shift in party leadership has forced Dhumal to the margin.

Thakur has previously served as the president of the BJP state unit and was also part of Dhumal's cabinet.

Dhumal, who was expected to take over as chief minister, was in the reckoning till Saturday night, when he opted out.

Mr Thakur had joined the RSS affiliated student's outfit, ABVP, during his college days and completed his MA from Panjab University.

Thakur was Minister of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj from 2007-2012.

A soft-spoken man, Thakur's strength is that he is seen as a leader who has managed to straddle the BJP's warring factions in Himachal Pradesh.