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BJP to pick new Himachal Pradesh CM today, pro- and anti-Dhumal groups raise slogans

By Chennabasaveshwar

Union ministers Nirmala Sitharaman and Narendra Singh Tomar, who are BJP's central observers, held a meeting with RSS leaders in Shimla to reach a consensus on the name of a new chief minister. The name of the new leader is likely to be announced on Friday.

BJP to pick new Himachal Pradesh CM today

As the meeting began, supporters raised slogans in support of Prem Kumar Dhumal outside the venue of Core Committee meeting. The defeat of the party's chief ministerial candidate Prem Kumar Dhumal, who has been the state's chief minister for two full terms, opened up the race for the top post, bringing Union minister JP Nadda into the contention. The BJP won 44 seats in the 68-member assembly.

Meanwhile, another group of BJP supporters, which is opposes lobbying for the CM post, raised slogans in support of PM Modi outside the same venue. They want the CM should be chosen from the elected MLAs.

A senior BJP leader on the condition of anonymity told PTI that there was a strong view in the party to pick one of the elected MLAs to head the government. According to reports, the clamour for making Dhumal the chief minister has also gained momentum and three BJP MLAs have reportedly offered to vacate their seats for him.

(With agency inputs)

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