Lobbying for cabinet berth gathers pace in Himachal Pradesh

Chief minister-elect Jai Ram Thakur met governor for the second time in as many days, triggering speculation that he has possibly given a list of ministers to take the oath of office with him.

india Updated: Dec 25, 2017 23:14 IST
Gaurav Bisht
Gaurav Bisht
Shimla, Hindustan Times
Jai Ram Thakur,Himachal Pradesh,Himachal Pradesh election
Chief Minister-elect Jai Ram Thakur addresses a press conference in Shimla on Monday. (PTI)

Intense lobbying for ministerial berths began in Himachal Pradesh on Monday after the BJP picked five-time legislator Jai Ram Thakur as the next chief minister.

The chief minister-elect met governor Acharya Devvrat at Raj Bhavan for the second time in as many days, triggering speculation that he has possibly given a list of ministers to take the oath of office with him.

“All aspects would be kept in mind while forming the government,” Thakur said, even as an aide close to him clarified that his visit to Raj Bhavan was “a courtesy call”.

A major challenge for the soft-spoken leader would be to strike a balance between region and caste equations in the hill state.

The BJP won 44 seats in the 68-member House to wrest power from the Congress last week.

Sources said senior BJP leaders are meeting in Shimla to shortlist names for ministerial positions in the new government. There’s also a buzz that several senior leaders were lobbying for ministries, including former chief minister Shanta Kumar and Prem Kumar Dhumal who are seeking cabinet berths for their loyalists.

Such speculation intensified after reports that Dhumal, who was the BJP’s candidate for the chief minister’s post before he lost the election, met the party’s national leaders in New Delhi.

Thakur was elected legislature party leader after Dhumal pulled out of the race for the top post and proposed the Mandi leader’s name.

First Published: Dec 25, 2017 23:10 IST