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Dhumal, 73, BJP’s CM face in Himachal

Dhumal, 73, BJP’s CM face in Himachal
Highlights

The Bharatiya Janata Party on Tuesday announced the name of Prem Kumar Dhumal as its chief ministerial candidate for the election to the Himachal...

New Delhi: The Bharatiya Janata Party on Tuesday announced the name of Prem Kumar Dhumal as its chief ministerial candidate for the election to the Himachal Pradesh Assembly.

A two-time chief minister, Dhumal's name was declared by BJP president Amit Shah himself. The BJP had, in the past few elections, not declared its chief ministerial candidates.

The cases in point are Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, where the party waited until the results were out.

Dhumal had on Monday dropped a hint that he would emerge as the party pick for the CM post. The 73-year-old leader will now challenge Congress' Virbhadra Singh in a direct fight to be held on November 9. Two years away from BJP’s disqualifying age limit of 75 years, Dhumal said he will cross the river when he gets there.

This is the second instance, in the last one year, wherein the BJP has, for caste and political considerations, had to lower the age bar to accommodate a septuagenarian leader. In Karnataka, too, the party has had to back Lingayat heavyweight B S Yeddyurappa as the CM nominee.

Dhumal attacked the current Congress-ruled regime in the hilly state, saying it was the worst-performing government. “There has been a total halt on developmental works.

There has been corruption and the law and order machinery has broken down. Dev Bhoomi is a drug Bhoomi now, and there are mafias everywhere - forest, liquor and transfer mafias,” Dhumal alleged. Dhumal’s elder son Anurag Thakur - a Member of Parliament - is actively campaigning for the BJP from the Una constituency.

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