BJP to have a CM face in HP... names Dhumal
Solan: The BJP on Tuesday made a sharp departure from its practice of not announcing chief ministerial candidates ahead of state Assembly elections and relying, instead, on the hitherto highly successful blend of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's charisma and party national president Amit Shah's organisational skills to catch votes. It declared Prem Kumar Dhumal, who has served as chief minister twice, as the BJP's chief ministerial candidate by for the Himachal Pradesh elections scheduled for November 9.
The announcement, which was made by none other than Shah himself at a public meeting, barely days before the Assembly polls, seemed to be driven by the BJP's calculation that the 73-year-old leader remains its best bet to oust the Virbhadra Singh-led Congress government in the state.
"Virbharda Singh keeps asking us under whose leadership the BJP is fighting the elections. In the whole country, the BJP is fighting under the leadership of Modiji. But if you want to hear under whose leadership the BJP is contesting in Himachal, then I want to make it clear today," Shah said.
"Virbhadraji, the BJP is going to fight under Dhumalji's leadership in Himachal. I want to say that we will fight these 2017 polls in the name of our senior leader Dhumalji. I also want to say that Dhumalji is currently a former chief minister and the leader of the Opposition, but after December 18 he will become Himachal's chief minister," thundered the BJP president, amid tumultuous cheers from party workers and members of the audience at the rally. The poll results are scheduled to be declared on December 18.
Shortly after the announcement about Dhumal was made, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that the BJP wants to make Himachal Pradesh corruption- free and undertake record development in the state. "Dhumal Ji is among our senior most leaders with rich administrative experience in Himachal. He will once again make a wonderful CM @DhumalHP," Modi tweeted.