Sitharaman, Tomar meet RSS leaders in Shimla to set off govt

Shimla: As the BJP is finding government formation in Himachal Pradesh tricky, Union ministers Nirmala Sitharaman, Narendra Singh Tomar and state party in-charge Mangal Pandey met the state RSS leaders in Shimla on Friday, to consult the name of new chief Minister.

When Sitharaman, Tomar and Pandey reached Peterhoff, the supporters were raising slogans in favour of former Himachal chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal and Jairam Thakur.

It is expected that the party will announce the name to the new chief minister by today evening. The party also held a meeting of the newly elected MLAs to gather their views before arriving at any conclusion on the name of the chief minister.

Sitharaman and Tomar also met the party’s state unit, which includes Dhumal, state party chief Satpal Singh Satti, all the five MPs from the state and organisation secretary Pawan Rana.

In the recent elections in Himachal Pradesh, BJP returned to power with a thumping majority. The party may pick one of its MLAs as the state’s new chief minister, with five-time MLA Jairam Thakur being seen as a frontrunner. The party won 44 seats in the 68-member assembly.

As per the sources from the party, there is a strong view in the party to pick one of the elected MLAs to head the government.

With three BJP MLAs ready to offer their seats for Dhumal, the possibility of making Dhumal the chief minister has also gained momentum.

On the other hand, many senior party leaders have opposed the move and said the party has a clear majority and several leaders were capable of leading the party and that electing a defeated leader would send a wrong signal.