All You Need to Know About Jairam Thakur, the New CM of Himachal

Jairam Thakur will be the first legislator from Himachal’s second largest Mandi district to become chief minister.  

2 min read

Five-time legislator Jairam Thakur, who rose from the ranks and is known for his humble, low-profile stature, will be the 13th Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh, the BJP announced on Sunday, 24 December.

A decision in this regard was unanimously taken at the BJP Legislative Party meeting after Thakur's name was proposed by two-time former Chief Minister PK Dhumal and seconded by Union Minister JP Nadda and another two-time Chief Minister Shanta Kumar.

The meeting was also attended by central observers Union Ministers Nirmala Sitharaman and Narendra Singh Tomar.


Who is Jairam Thakur?

A soft-spoken, low profile ‘organisation man’, Thakur was just 28 years old when he first contested the state Assembly elections from Chachiot in Himachal Pradesh in 1993.

He lost by a slender 800-vote margin but caught the attention of the BJP's top brass.

In 1998, Thakur contested from the same seat, won, and then went on to convert Chachiot (renamed Seraj after delimitation in 2010) in Mandi district into his bastion, winning it a record five times in a row.

It was this ability to nurture and consolidate a support base that held the BJP in good stead during the 2007 Himachal Pradesh Assembly polls which the party contested with Thakur as its state chief.

Led by Thakur, the saffron party stormed to power for the first time on its own in the hill state with Prem Kumar Dhumal becoming the chief minister. Thakur served as rural development and panchayati raj minister in the Dhumal government from 2010 to 2012.

However, it was Dhumal's shock defeat in this year's Assembly polls that the chief ministerial race in the state was thrown open and Thakur emerged as the “natural choice”, despite the names of several tall leaders, including Union minister J P Nadda, doing the rounds.

Thakur will be the first legislator from Himachal's second largest Mandi district to become chief minister.

Known for his integrity, Thakur enjoys a good rapport with his voters and the remoteness and difficult topography notwithstanding, got 56 out of 58 panchayats in Seraj constituency connected by road.

During student days, Thakur was a dedicated activist of the ABVP, and is known to be close to the RSS.

On Sunday, the atmosphere in Shimla turned festive as supporters celebrated his elevation, bursting into song and dance the moment the 52-year-old Rajput leader's name was announced.

Thakur will be the sixth leader of the state to occupy the chief minister's office and the 14th chief minister of Himachal Pradesh. He is likely to take oath on December 27.

(with inputs from IANS and PTI)

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