After Congress’ defeat in the assembly elections in the hill state, all eyes are now on BJP candidates who can be declared as the next chief minister of Himachal Pradesh. The Bharatiya Janata Party is looking for a new face for the job as BJP’s chief ministerial candidate Prem Kumar Dhumal has already lost his seat after being defeated by Congress’ Rajinder Rana. The party is now looking for the right option among the state bigwigs to be declared as the next Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh. Among several contenders for the top job, here are the top leaders who have an upper hand in the selection.
Top BJP leaders for the Chief Minister’s job in Himachal Pradesh
BJP’s chief ministerial candidate for the Himachal Pradesh assembly election Prem Kumar Dhumal has already lost his constituency to Congress’ Rajinder Rana, and now the party looking for a new face. There are several state bigwigs in the race for the top job but after the defeat of Himachal BJP unit chief Satpal Satti, Ravinder Ravi and Ghulab Singh Thakur in the assembly election, making the right pick will not be an easy task.
Right now the top three candidates for the Chief Minister position are reported to be Union health minister JP Nadda, MLA Jairam Thakur and Prem Kumar Dhumal’s son Anurag Thakur. All these candidates have emerged as the frontrunner in the race for the Chief Minister seat. While JP Nadda holds a strong position in the state, MLA Jairam Thakur too holds a strong background and has won five times from the Seraj constituency. In addition to these two candidates, Hamirpur MP Anurag Thakur is also being expected as one of the strong contenders for the job.
Jai Prakash Nadda
A seasoned politician from Bilaspur Jai Prakash Nadda is currently the health minister and possesses the required administrative experience to run the state. Nadda’s biggest advantage is his closeness to party chief. Nadda is close to both PM Modi as well as Amit Shah, BJP’s national president. The only roadblock in Nadda’s path to become the Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh is that he is not a member of the state assembly. To be a state assembly member, one BJP MLA will have to resign for him. Who will do that is the question here?
Prem Kumar Dhumal’s son, Anurag Thakur is two-time MP from Hamirpur. Anurag was earlier the BJP Youth Wing President and has been seen as the political heir of the former chief minister Dhumal. Though his supporters believe that he can be the next Chief Minister but the situation appears difficult. The report mentions that the Dhumal family has been falling out favour of the Modi-Shah led BJP and JP Nadda’s escalating stature in the Center.
Jairam Thakur, after winning the assembly poll for the fifth time from Seraj seat is being accredited as a strong leader from the Mandi belt. With both administrative as well organisational experience Jairam Thakur’s prospects are strong as he is considered close to JP Nadda and under Thakur’s leadership, the party won a majority of seats in the Mandi belt. In his case, the major challenge will be getting a go-ahead from the newly elected MLAs as he lacks a pan-Himachal appeal.
Source: India Today