Prem Kumar Dhumal will be sworn in as the Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh for the second time tomorrow, a day after the BJP stormed back to power trouncing Congress.
Governor VS Kokje invited Dhumal (63) to form the government after the English professor-turned politician met him to stake his claim shortly after he was unanimously elected as the leader of the BJP Legislative party. Dhumal alone will assume office on Sunday.
Dhumal, a three-time MLA who headed the BJP government for the first time from 1998-2003, will be sworn in at the historic Ridge maidan. He is the first Chief Minister to be administered the oath of office at a public ceremony.
Dhumal, who will be the 16th Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh since it was carved out in 1971, is likely to form his Cabinet later after consultations with party leadership.
Asked about the composition of the ministry, Dhumal said, "you (media) will be informed".
Dhumal accompanied by senior party leader Shanta Kumar, party in-charge of HP affairs Satyapal Jain and state party president and MLA Jairam Thakur handed over to the Governor a copy of the signed letter of all the 41 MLAs appointing him as their leader.
At the Legislature party meeting, Thakur proposed Dhumal's name, which was seconded by party leader in the outgoing assembly I D Dhiman.
The Governor accordingly invited Dhumal to form the government in the state, Jain told reporters at Raj Bhawan.
BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate L K Advani, senior leaders Arun Jaitley and Sushma Swaraj and Chief Ministers of Uttaranchal, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Punjab B C Khanduri, Vasundhara Raje, Raman Singh and Prakash Singh Badal are expected to attend the oath ceremony.