NEW DELHI: Senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Prem Kumar Dhumal has been elected as the party's chief ministerial candidate for the upcoming Himachal Pradesh elections.
Dhumal, 73, held the Himachal chief minister's chair two times - from March 1998 to March 2003, and again from January 2008 to 25 December 2012.
Party president Amit Shah announced Dhumal's CM candidature during a public meeting in Kangra, Himachal Pradesh.
"The BJP is going to fight the Himachal Pradesh assembly polls under the leadership of Prem Kumar Dhumal...Dhumal is currently a former CM but after December 18, he will be the new chief minister of the state," Shah said.
Immediately after, the septuagenarian took to Twitter to thank Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Shah:
हिमाचल की जनता इस बार भाजपा की सरकार बनाएगी और हम सब मिलकर विकास का एक नया अध्याय लिखेंगे।
जय हिमाचल, जय हिन्द।
— Prem Kumar Dhumal (@DhumalHP) October 31, 2017
Presently, Dhumal holds the designation of Leader of Opposition in the state assembly.
Earlier, union minister J P Nadda was speculated to be the party's chief minister. But Dhumal's mass-connect in the hill state seems to have tipped the scale in his favour.
With agency inputs