Why BJP Picked Prem Kumar Dhumal as Himachal Pradesh CM Face
Here’s why the BJP declared Prem Kumar Dhumal its chief ministerial candidate for Himachal Pradesh CM.
Clarity among party workers and a shot at improving the BJP's political fortunes in Himachal Pradesh — that's what led BJP chief Amit Shah to name Prem Kumar Dhumal as the party’s CM face in the state, reports The Tribune.
The Assembly elections are scheduled to take place in Himachal Pradesh on 9 November and the BJP has been deliberating on the decision to announce a key leader in the state for six months. The decision was taken by party core committee and Amit Shah ahead of PM Narendra Modi's rallies in the state, scheduled for 2, 4 and 5 November 2017.
The decision is significant, since it departs from the BJP’s conventional model of fighting elections in other states — fighting the elections on PM Modi’s name without revealing a CM face.
However, Himachal Pradesh is different.
With factionalism in the BJP leadership, sources tell The Tribune, that having a chief ministerial candidate will boost the party's prospects in Himachal Pradesh.
Who Is Prem Kumar Dhumal?
A former chief minister, Prem Kumar Dhumal is 73 years old and is considered to be a popular grassroots leader. Sources have told The Tribune that the party's internal assesment shows good prospects for the BJP in Himachal Pradesh, with Dhumal in the lead.
He is close to the Prime Minister, with whom he shares a “special rapport”, reports The Tribune.
BJP is known to have a “75-year-old” limit for assigning ministerial responsibilities to members, but Dhumal’s age might not prove to be a hindrance.
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