Honest and upright, Jai Ram Thakur is spearheading BJP’s Lok Sabha campaign in Himachal
In 1993, Jai Ram Thakur was elected as the state president of the Bharatiya Janata Party. The big break in political career came five years later when he entered the assembly after winning the state polls from the Chachiot (now Seraj) assembly segment.Updated: Mar 14, 2019 01:48 IST
Jai Ram Thakur’s reign as the chief minister of Himachal Pradesh has marked a transitional shift in the politics of the hill state.
Jai Ram Thakur was born on January 6, 1965, in a poor family in Tandi village of Mandi district’s Thunag area, Thakur was the fourth child among five siblings - two sisters and three brothers - of his mason father Jhethu Ram.
Thakur, who spent his childhood in dire poverty, went to a local school and later joined a college in Mandi town and completed his Bachelor of Arts (BA).
He started out as a student leader in the early eighties when he was studying in college. The 54-year-old was an active worker of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), the student wing of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.
He earned a name in student politics and was elevated to the post of the state secretary of the ABVP in 1986. After completing college, Thakur joined the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) — youth wing of the BJP — in the 90s.
In 1993, he was elected as the state president of the Bharatiya Janata Party. The big break in political career came five years later when he entered the assembly after winning the state polls from the Chachiot (now Seraj) assembly segment.
Known for his honesty, integrity and low-profile, Thakur was re-elected in 2003. He was made the state BJP chief in 2006. The BJP registered an emphatic win in the 2007 assembly polls under his leadership. He also won a third consecutive term from his assembly segment.
He remained on the post till 2009, when he was inducted in the council of ministers and given the portfolio of the rural development and panchayati raj. Thakur was reelected to the assembly for a fourth term in the 2012 state polls.
The BJP won a two-thirds majority in the assembly election held in 2017 but its chief ministerial candidate Prem Kumar Dhumal received a shocking defeat from Sujanpur assembly segment in his home district.
Considering his RSS connections and a strong political profile, he was the favourite for the top post and was chosen to lead the state. Thakur was the first to become the chief minister from Mandi district.
He will be expected to help his party repeat its performance from the last state and general elections in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls in Himachal Pradesh, which sends four lawmakers to the Lower House.
First Published: Mar 14, 2019 01:48 IST