December 18 results decided the fate of Himachal Pradesh by bringing the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) with a major victory, putting the opposing party, Congress, in the back seat. Once the front runner in becoming the Chief Minister of the state, Prem Kumar Dhumal, on December 23 night ruled himself out from the race for the post. Dhumal’s confirmation came in just a day before BJP MLAs were meeting to elect the CM face in the state. As per reports, Union minister J P Nadda along with 5-term MLA Jairam Thakur are said to be the new front runners in the race for the post.

After the newly elected MLAs failed to come to a consensus over selecting the leading face in the state, Union ministers Nirmala Sitharaman and Narendra Singh Tomar returned to Delhi from Shimla to hold fresh consultation with the central leadership. According to earlier reports, Jairam Thakur was said to be the leading face for BJP in the state. However, JP Nadda is expected to emerge as the most acceptable BJP candidate in Himachal Pradesh.

Confirming that he is out from the CM race in the state, Prem Kumar Dhumal said, “There is speculation in media that I am in race for the post of the chief minister. I had made it clear on the day of the result that I am not in any race.” Prem Kumar Dhumal, who was the former CM in the state and also BJP’s first choice, face an unexpected defeat in the polls. He was defeated from Sujanpur by Rajinder Rana of the Congress.

Commenting on the matter, party’s state unit Chief Satpal Singh Satti said that a meeting of BJP MLAs has been convened on Sunday, December 24, and they would be addressed by the central observers.

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