Shimla: BJP’s Jai Ram Thakur today took oath as chief minister of Himachal Pradesh subsequent to huge victory margin in the state as major stalwarts were present in the oath taking ceremony.
As they did in Gandhinagar yesterday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP President Amit Shah, several Union ministers and chief ministers of BJP-ruled states are attending the oath ceremony in Shimla. The BJP retained Gujarat and snatched Himachal Pradesh from the Congress in a 2-0 result as votes were counted for assembly elections in the two states last week. Himachal is the 19th state where the BJP is in power.
The oath ceremony for Mr Thakur and his ministers is being held at the historic Ridge Maidan in Shimla, which has turned saffron with BJP flags fluttering all around and big cut outs of PM Modi, Amit Shah and Jai Ram Thakur dominating the landscape.
“People have shown faith in us, will try to meet their expectations,” Mr Thakur said this morning. The 52-year-old five-time legislator was picked to be the hill state’s 14th chief minister after PK Dhumal, projected by the BJP for the top post, lost his election even as the party swept 44 of the state’s 68 seats.
Mr Thakur’s selection is seen as a generational shift in a state where the BJP and Congress had projected much older men for the top post – the Congress’ Virbhadra Singh is 83, while PK Dhumal is 73. He has been the party’s state unit chief and a minister in a government headed by Mr Dhumal in the past.