Jai Ram Thakur is first Himachal CM from Mandi

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As was the case with the swearing-in event of Rupani and his ministers on Tuesday, Thakur's oath-taking ceremony at the historic Ridge Maidan of Shimla was also attended by the entire BJP top brass - Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP president Amit Shah, a host of union ministers and chief ministers of most NDA-ruled states.

Thakur is the first Chief Minister from Mandi, the second biggest district of Himachal after Kangra.

For the first time in the history of the state, Prime Minister will attend an oath taking ceremony.

In the past three Congress stalwarts from Mandi district- Karam Singh Thakur, Pandit Sukh Ram and Kaul Singh Thakur had tried their luck but all of them failed to become the chief minister as they could not get the required support due to infighting.

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Today, in the state legislature party meeting, which was also attended by both the central observers, the MLAs elected Thakur, who represents Seraj near Mandi as their new leader.

While announcing Jai Ram Thakur's name Union Minister Narendra Singh Tomar reportedly said that "We held consultations with the core group and elected MLAs, all of whom were unanimous in their choice of Jai Ram Thakur".

Sarveen Chaudhary is the lone woman minister in the cabinet. Thakur is married to Sadhna Singh, a doctor by profession. However, after Dhumal's defeat it was unclear if the BJP would continue its efforts to woo the Rajput community - a doubt that quickly faded away after the BJP high command summoned Jai Ram Thakur to Delhi soon after the poll result.

He was referring to Uttar Pradesh where the BJP was the preeminent party for much of 90s faded to political irrelevance for over a decade till it notched up unprecedented victories in 2014 Lok Sabha poll and then in 2017 assembly elections under Modi and Shah.

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Sharma was inducted into the Virbhadra Singh-led Cabinet in 2013 and allocated the portfolios of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj and Animal Husbandry. Supporters of the new Ministers had also thronged the venue in large numbers.

Bindal was named as the Speaker of the assembly.

The BJP wrested power in Himachal from the Congress, winning close to two thirds majority with 44 seats in the 68-member assembly. He did his graduation from a college in Mandi town and postgraduation from Panjab University in Chandigarh. Several names were doing the rounds for the past few days, including those of Nadda, Suresh Bharadwaj, Dhumal and Thakur. He remained Joint Secretary, State ABVP (1986), Organizing Secretary, ABVP (J&K), (1989-93), State Secretary, Bhartiya Janata Party Yuva Morcha (1993-95), President-State Bhartiya Janata Party Yuva Morcha, B.J.P. District Mandi (2000-03), Vice President State BJP (2003-05), and President State Bhartiya Janata Party (2006-09).

Outgoing Congress Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh and his erstwhile cabinet colleagues were conspicuously absent from the ceremony.

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