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Jai Ram Thakur: Farm expert, amateur theatre actor, BJP man through and through

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Thakur started his political career with the ABVP back in college, and has risen through the ranks to become Himachal CM at 52 years of age.

Chandigarh: Himachal Pradesh got its first chief minister from Mandi district in 52-year-old Jai Ram Thakur, after his name was cleared by the party high command Sunday afternoon. He is the 13th chief minister of the hill state.

His name came into the reckoning after BJP’s chief ministerial candidate Prem Kumar Dhumal lost the elections by 1,919 votes from Sujanpur, a shock result, considering the BJP won 44 of the state assembly’s 68 seats.

Thakur, a prominent Rajput leader from Mandi, won his first election in 1998 from Chachiot (now delimited and renamed Seraj), winning it consecutively in 2003, 2007 and 2012. The BJP’s stellar performance in Mandi this time, winning nine of the 10 seats, is being credited to his leadership. The fact that he is also aligned with the RSS has also gone in his favour.

Thakur was cabinet minister for rural development and panchayati raj in the Dhumal government (2007-12). He has also remained the state BJP president from 2006 to 2009.

Personal profile and political journey

Born on 6 January 1965, Thakur completed his graduation from Vallabh Government Degree College, Mandi, in 1987. He is an agriculturist, and owns agricultural land in tehsil Thunag. He is married to Dr Sadhna Thakur, and has two daughters.

A little-known fact about Thakur is that his favourite pastime is listening to old songs. He also likes to perform one-act plays, and loves travelling.

A BJP man to the core, Thakur has taken the long way to the top of Himachal Pradesh politics. He started his career as a student politician with the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), and remained its joint secretary in the state in 1986 while he was in college. He also remained ABVP’s organising secretary in Jammu and Kashmir from 1989 to 1993.

He went on to lead the party’s Yuva Morcha, remaining its secretary for two years from 1993, and later heading it. In 2000, he was made Mandi district BJP president, and for two years from 2003, he was the party’s vice-president in the state.

He has been chairman of the General Development Committee and Education Committee, and vice-chairman of the state Civil Supplies Corporation Ltd.

In 2013, he unsuccessfully contested a Lok Sabha by-election from Mandi against Virbhadra Singh’s wife Pratibha Singh.

During the last BJP government under Dhumal, he was chairman of the Rural Planning Committee, and member of various other house committees, before being inducted into the council of ministers towards the end of the term.

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  1. Congratulations Sir,
    We are sure you will take Himachal Pradesh to greater heights of popularity, improve tourism, make the cities clean and root out corruption completely. Make the hill roads safer and provide excellent facilities to tourists both INDIAN and foreign.. Make Himachal Pradesh ” the best state”. Good luck sir.,
    Srinivasa murthy,

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