BJP leader Jai Ram Thakur took oath as Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh in a swearing-in ceremony held at the historic Ridge Maidan in Shimla on Wednesday. The oath of office and secrecy was delivered by Governor Acharya Dev Vrat.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Rajnath Singh, BJP president Amit Shah, former deputy prime minister L K Advani and several Union ministers and chief ministers attended the swearing ceremony. Chief ministers of BJP-rules states are likely to grace the occasion.
Mahendra Singh, Suresh Bhardwaj, Anil Sharma, Sarveen Choudhary, Ram Lal Markand, Vipin Singh Parmar, Virender Kanwar, Vikram Singh, Govind Singh and Rajiv Sahjal to take oath as cabinet ministers along with CM elect Jairam Thakur.
This is for the fourth time that the swearing-in ceremony is taking place outside Raj Bhawan at the Ridge. Dr. Y S Parmar was administered the oath at the Ridge in the presence of the then prime minister Indira Gandhi after Himachal attained statehood on January 25, 1971.
The BJP won 44, while the Congress won 21 seats in the elections to 68-member Himachal Pradesh Assembly, the results of which were declared on December 18.
Who is Jai Ram Thakur?
Thakur, a five-time MLA from Seraj in Mandi district enjoys a strong backing of the RSS and a section of BJP MLAs in Himachal. The 52-year-old leader was previously part of Dhumal's cabinet and also worked as the president of the BJP state unit.
Thakur is perceived to be a non-controversial pick due to this low-profile. Appointment of Thakur will mark a generational shift in the state politics which saw the successive administrations of Congress' Virbhadra Singh and BJP's Dhumal.
It was during Jai Ram's term as BJP state president in 2007 that the BJP had won seven out of 10 seats from the Congress-dominated Mandi district. Jai Ram Thakur is considered close to JP Nadda and hence enjoys the support of top BJP leadership.
Party has performed strongly in the Mandi belt by winning 9 out of 10 seats in the region. But Jai Ram Thakur lacks a pan-Himachal appeal and may not be a popular choice among the newly elected MLAs.
Mother- Bikramu Devi
Brother- Three (Name Not Known)
Sister- Two (Name Not Known)
(With agency inputs)