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3:24 pm - Friday April 23, 4156

Shah names Dhumal as BJP’s CM face

Agencies, New Delhi/Shimla

Ending days of speculation, the BJP President Amit Shah on Tuesday named former Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal as party’s ‘Chief Ministerial’ face for the assembly elections in the hilly state. Mr Shah made the announcement while addressing an election meeting at Rajgarh in Sirmaur district.

The party sources in Delhi said naming Mr Dhumal as the party’s face on the eve of elections would give further edge to the saffron party in the campaign. “Mr Dhumal has the image of a performer. And for last five years, Himachal has suffered from misgovernance under Congress,” a party leader said here.

The BJP chief Amit Shah also tweeted shortly after saying, “I have full confidence that under Shri Dhumal’s leadership, BJP will record a massive win in Himachal Pradesh”. In his speech at the rally, Mr Shah said, “The BJP is going to fight the Himachal Pradesh assembly polls under the leadership of Prem Kumar Dhumal.

Dhumal is currently a former CM but after December 18, he will be the new chief minister”. Mr Dhumal, known for political pragmatism, has been the Chief Minister twice from March 1998 to March 2003 and again from 1 January 2008 to 25 December 2012.

In the outgoing assembly, he also holds the designation of the Leader of the Opposition. Naming Mr Dhumal has been an important move by the BJP central leadership as for sometime a section of party leaders were also toying with the name of Union Health Minister JP Nadda for the top post.

However, former Chief Minister Dhumal’s ground level support and mass connect in the hill state is said to have tilted the scale in his favour. Reports from Hamirpur, Mr Dhumal’s home district, said that the BJP workers celebrated the announcement by BJP chief with gaiety. Hundreds of supporters danced on tunes of dholaks and distributed sweets among one another to mark the announcement.

Dhumal, 73, was born at Samirpur village in Hamirpur district. He is seeking election from Sujanpur seat this time. In 2012, Dhumal had won from Hamirpur Sadar assembly seat. In November 9 assembly polls, BJP’s nominee from Hamirpur is Narendra Thakur, the sitting party MLA from Sujanpur.

BJP leaders in Himachal Pradesh and also in Delhi said the announcement will give a fresh encouragement to party workers in the state – which generally throws out incumbent government every five years.

The BJP had won elections under Mr Dhumal in 1998 and thereafter in 2007. box Dhumal can become wonderful Chief Minister: Modi New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday welcomed naming former Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal as the party’s chief ministerial polls for ensuing assembly elections and expressed optimism that Mr Dhumal will “once again” make a wonderful Chief Minister.

“DhumalJi is among our senior most leaders with rich administrative experience in Himachal. He will once again make a wonderful CM @DhumalHP,” Prime Minister Modi tweeted. He further said: “BJP’s focus is politics of development.

We want to make Himachal corruption-free and initiate record development initiatives in the state”. Besides Mr Dhumal, the names of BJP stalwart Shanta Kumar and Union Minister J P Nadda had come before the party high command for the top post.

Posted in: Featured, Nation

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