Shimla, Dec 27: Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur and his 11 ministers — half of them first-timers — on Wednesday took oath of office at an impressive ceremony attended among others by Prime Minister rendra Modi and BJP President Amit Shah.
Thakur takes oath with 11 ministers
Governor Acharya Devvrat administered the oath of office and secrecy to Thakur, who will turn 53 on January 6. This will be his maiden term as Chief Minister.
The swearing-in ceremony at the historic Ridge here was also attended by Union Ministers Rajth Singh, J.P. dda and Nitin Gadkari, besides Chief Ministers of Bharatiya Jata Party-ruled states, along with more than 30,000 party supporters from across the state, mostly in traditiol attire.
BJP veteran and former Deputy Prime Minister L.K. Advani was also present.
Five-time legislator Thakur, who rose through the ranks and is known for his humble, clean and low-profile ture, took the oath in Hindi. He had served as the Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Minister when Prem Kumar Dhumal was Chief Minister (2007-12).
Thakur’s family members, including his 80-year-old widowed mother, who belongs to a remote village in Mandi district, attended the ceremony.
The 12-member ministry has six former ministers and equal number of first-timers in a blend of experienced and new faces. It has six Rajputs, including the Chief Minister, and three Brahmins.
The others who took oath were former Cabinet Ministers Mohinder Singh, Kishan Kapoor, Sarveen Chaudhary and Anil Sharma, former Minister of State Ram Lal Markanday and new faces Suresh Bhardwaj, Vipin Singh Parmar, Virender Kanwar, Vikram Thakur, Gobind Thakur and Rajeev Sahjal, who is a doctor by profession.
Sarveen Chaudhary is the lone woman minister in the cabinet and she belongs to the Other Backward Class.
Rajeev Bindal was med as the Speaker of the assembly. The BJP won a majority with 44 seats in the 68-member state assembly.
Thakur is the first Chief Minister from Mandi, the second biggest district of Himachal after Kangra. In these elections, the BJP won nine out of the 10 assembly seats in Mandi. Earlier, Chief Ministers of Himachal hailed from Shimla, Kangra and Sirmaur districts.
The BJP took almost a week to decide on the Chief Minister after its chief ministerial candidate Dhumal lost the election. Several mes were doing the rounds for the past few days, including those of dda, Suresh Bharadwaj, Dhumal and Thakur. (IANS)