March 2019 \ Interviews \ POLITICAL INTERVIEW
“Confident of doing well in LS elections”

Facing the challenge of retaining all the four Lok Sabha seats, Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur says he is not being dictated to by the RSS and that he enjoys a free hand to lead the party in the coming elections. For him, development work and no witch hunting is the mantra. “This accusation (of RSS remote controlling him) does not have an iota of truth.” Our central leadership has reposed full faith in me and has given a free hand to run the affairs in the state. The RSS is an apolitical nationalist organisation, which has nothing to do with state affairs,” Mr Thakur told IANS in an interview ...

By Vishal Gulati
  • Mr Jai Ram Thakur, Chief Minister, Himachal Pradesh

Five-time legislator Thakur (54) was elevated after the BJP’s chief ministerial candidate, Prem Kumar Dhumal, suffered an abject defeat in the 2017 assembly polls. Several names were doing the rounds at the time, including that of Union Health Minister J.P. Nadda, whom the party did not relieve from national politics.“I don’t think there is anything wrong in seeking the advice of Mr Dhumal and Mr Nadda, on any regarding matter related to the development of the state,” Mr Thakur stated categorically.

On getting free hand from the high command to lead the party in the elections, Mr Thakur, who has won his fifth consecutive assembly election, said: “The elections are fought with collective efforts and with collective strategy. Being head of the state I would have greater responsibility to motivate the rank and file to ensure the party’s victory.”

“I am fully confident that the BJP will retain all the four Lok Sabha seats (from the state) in the General Elections,” Mr Thakur added. Carrying out development on the debris of decades of vendetta politics, Mr Thakur said the BJP has brought a generational change in the state politics.

“This change has brought new ideas of governance. Shunning the politics of revenge and counter accusations, we have put forth development as our guiding principle in reforms. We have taken several new people-centric initiatives in 13 months,” the plain-speaking Mr Thakur said.