Rajeev Bindal declared as Himachal BJP chief
Single nomination for the post of president was filed by Bindal on Friday after he quit Vidhan Sabha speaker’s post on Thursday.Updated: Jan 18, 2020 22:19 IST
Former Himachal Pradesh Vidhan Sabha speaker Rajeev Bindal on Saturday was formally declared as the chief of Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP’s) state unit.
The announcement was made by national BJP secretary Sunil V Deodhar at a function here which was attended by chief minister Jai Ram Thakur. Union human resource development minister Ramesh Pokhriyal and outgoing state BJP president Satpal Singh Satti were among the top leaders present at the event.
Single nomination for the post of president was filed by Bindal on Friday after he quit Vidhan Sabha speaker’s post on Thursday.
Bindal replaces Satpal Singh Satti, who had been party president for eight years. Though half a dozen names were doing rounds for the post of the president, including those of former legislator Randhir Sharma, chief minister’s political adviser Trilok Jamwal, Sundernagar MLA Rakesh Jamwal, former Rajya Sabha member Kripal Parmar and chief minister’s OSD Mahender Dharmani, BJP’s national working president Jagat Prakash Nadda at the last moment nominated Bindal for the post, considering his ‘organisational skills’.
The party was looking for bigger name who could steer the party to victory in 2022 assembly elections. Two sets of nominations were filed on Friday sponsoring the candidature of Bindal and the election was a smooth process.
Four national council members: Rakesh Jamwal from Mandi, Sukhram Chowdhary (Paonta Sahib MLA) from Shimla (Reserve), Rita Dhiman (Indora MLA) from Kangra and Rajinder Garg (Ghumarwin MLA) from Hamirpur Lok Sabha seat were also elected with consensus at the general house called at the government-run hotel Peterhoff.
As many as 300 members, including all elected presidents of organisational blocks and districts, party MLAs and MPs among others, constituted the general house which unanimously elected Bindal as the new state BJP chief.
Leaders present at the event included MoS for corporate affairs and finance Anurag Thakur, Bihar’s health minister Mangal Pandey, who is also in charge for party affairs in Himachal, ministers Sarveen Chaudhary, Suresh Bhardwaj , Bipin Singh Parmar, Govind Thakur and party’s chief whip Narendra Bragta.
Earlier in the morning, Bindal was given a rousing welcome at Hotel Peterhoff. His supporters from Sirmaur, who had gathered in large number, danced to the tunes of traditional Pahari music.
Bindal is a five-time legislator, who was elected from Solan and in 2012, shifted to Nahan after the constituency was reserved for scheduled caste.
He retained the seat in 2017. He remained health minister in Prem Kumar Dhumal-led government from 2007 to 2012, but quit the cabinet in 2012. He was also appointed as state general secretary of the party. Born on January 12, 1965, Bindal was an ayurveda practitioner before he entered the electoral politics.
Bindal, along with Jai Ram, will leave for Delhi on Sunday to attend the function where Nadda will be appointed as party’s national president.
‘Will work with full dedication’
Bindal said he would perform the work assigned to him by the party with full dedication.
Assuring that he would try to live up to the expectations of the party cadres, Bindal said it will be great to work for the organisation.
CM Jai Ram Thakur assured that he would work in tandem with the new party chief.
Referring to the Bindal’s background as a medical practitioner, Thakur said, “This will do a treatment without side effects.”
The chief minister said that earlier, “Bindal was bound in some limitations due to being on a constitutional post of the assembly speaker, but now he was free to do anything”.
Union HRD minister Pokhriyal said Bindal’s dedication for the public can be gauged from the fact that he was a five-time MLA and also served as a civic body’s chief.
“The combination of Jai Ram Thakur and Rajeev Bindal will lead the BJP to another victory in the next assembly elections,” he added.
MoS Anurag Thakur said the new state president would work in coordination with government for development of the state.