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  India   All India  08 Jan 2018  Prem Kumar Dhumal set to be HP unit chief, might go to RS too

Prem Kumar Dhumal set to be HP unit chief, might go to RS too

THE ASIAN AGE. | YOJNA GUSAI
Published : Jan 8, 2018, 1:08 am IST
Updated : Jan 8, 2018, 6:43 am IST

Sources said that the BJP leadership could also make some other changes in the state unit and bring in a few more new faces.

Prem Kumar Dhumal (Photo: ANI)
 Prem Kumar Dhumal (Photo: ANI)

New Delhi: Keeping the 2019 Lok Sabha elections in mind, the BJP is likely to name former chief minister and party stalwart Prem Kumar Dhumal as its Himachal Pradesh unit chief. The BJP leadership had favoured a new face, Jairam Thakur, 53, as head of its newly-formed government in the hill state after Prof. Dhumal, its CM candidate, lost from a new constituency, Sujanpur, in the recent Assembly elections. Speculation is rife that Prof. Dhumal might also be nominated to the Rajya Sabha. The sitting state unit chief, Satpal Singh Satti, also lost his seat.

Sources said that keeping the coming general election in mind and the fact that Prof. Dhumal, 73, comes from one of the four parliamentary constituencies, Hamirpur, the party leadership wants to give him a prominent position in the state organisation. Since his electoral defeat, the state unit was abuzz with rumours that Prof. Dhumal, who is just two years short of the party’s unofficial retirement age of 75, will now be asked to “guide” the state leadership. But the central leadership, sources said, wants him to be actively involved in the party strategies in the state.

Prof. Dhumal’s son, Anurag Thakur, currently represents Hami-rpur in Parliament. Mr Jairam Thakur, a five-time MLA from Seraj, is the first chief minister of the hill state from the Mandi region, another parliamentary constituency. The BJP had won all four seats during the last Lok Sabha elections.

Though Prof. Dhumal’s supporters had made efforts to get his name cleared for the chief ministership despite his losing the election, both the BJP and RSS leadership decided in favour of promoting a second-generation leadership and named Jairam Thakur as head of the government. Prof. Dhumal’s supporters had questioned the party leadership’s decision to field him from a new seat and blamed “bhitarghaat” (internal sabotage) for his defeat.

Sources said that the BJP leadership could also make some other changes in the state unit and bring in a few more new faces.

Tags: prem kumar dhumal, rajya sabha