According To Times Now Jai Ram Thakur has emerged as a hot favourite for the CM Of Himachal Pradesh. He too has the experience of working in the organisation and the government and has a RSS background. A five time MLA, Thakur is a prominent face from Mandi. He was a cabinet minister in previous BJP government from 2007 to 2012 and has held important positions in the party.
The 52-year-old, from Tandi village in Mandi district’s Seraj assembly constituency, was elected as an MLA for the first time in 1998 from Chachiot in Mandi district and since then he was re-elected in 2003 and 2007 from the same seat. In 2012, he was elected from Seraj assembly seat and was re-elected on Monday for the fifth time.
Party chief Amit Shah is understood to have sought details on possible candidates and will brief the BJP parliamentary board. If the party decides the choice should be from among the MLAs, Thakur stands a good chance.
With the suspense over BJP CM nominee Prem Kumar Dhumal ending in his defeat, the top job in the state is likely to see a toss up between Union health minister J P Nadda and senior leader Jai Ram Thakur with the latter seen as the frontrunner.
If BJP finally considers scouting for a Rajput leader given that this was a consideration in Dhumal’s selection, then Thakur, a five-term MLA, is the obvious choice.
In an election that BJP won but several of its state leaders lost, Thakur survived at the hustings and is seen as a likely prospect. The candidature of Nadda, who has served in the Himachal Pradesh cabinet earlier, had been discussed even before the current campaign before BJP decided in favour of Dhumal.
Nadda is seen as a steady and competent hand, who has kept controversy at bay. The Union minister is a brahmin and is seen as an accessible figure among constituents.
Newly-elected Kutlehar MLA Virender Kanwar has already said he is willing to vacate his seat for Dhumal but this is a remote possibility.
Thakur is MLA from Seraj and won with a margin of 11,254 votes. Nadda, who is from Vijaypur in Bilaspur district, is the other contender.
Sources said Nadda’s proximity to the BJP leadership and his record as national general secretary are his calling cards. Nadda has been active in the state and addressed rallies in the state.