In Himachal, Virbhadra the current CM & his son Vikramaditya won their respective seats but could not stop the rout of the Congress, including its cabinet Ministers, from defeat at the hands of BJP which won by two thirds majority. But BJP also could not save its Chief Ministerial candidate & State President from defeat.
With Dhumal & Satti out of the fray, it appears that decks have been cleared for Jai Ram Thakur – a 5-time MLA from Seraj in Mandi – to don the Chief Minister’s chair. Mandi, the second largest district after Kangra, has 10 assembly constituencies and BJP won 9 out of those 10 seats on offer, further strengthening Jai Ram’s claim to the top post.
Amit Shah in one of his rallies in Mandi had alluded to Jai Ram’s elevation to the CM’s chair if he won the election, and with the resounding victory of BJP & the party’s almost clean sweep in Mandi district, Jai Ram’s elevation looks a good bet.
Amit Shah’s favourite & member of the Union cabinet, J P Nadda’s reluctance to return to State politics has also turned the tide in Jai Ram’s favour. Besides, Nadda’s services would be required by Modi & Shah in the upcoming elections to 8 States in 2018 and the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
With Shah’s policy of entrenching young people in key positions in the party & the government, 52-year- old Jai Ram fits the bill perfectly. Besides his stint as State party President, his ministerial experience is sure to stand him in good stead if he were to takeson the mantle of Chief Minister.
With Virbhadra & his party biting the dust in Himachal & BJP’s veteran bigwigs also being humbled at the hustings, it seems the State’s politics will be in young & strong hands for the next decade and more.
With the end of the Virbhadra & Dhumal era, Jai Ram could be the future to lead the party for the next decade.
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