Though defeated, Dhumal in contention

Several newly elected MLAs cast their lot with him, ready to vacate their seats for him to contest

December 20, 2017 09:31 pm | Updated 09:31 pm IST - SHIMLA

Prem Kumar Dhumal

Prem Kumar Dhumal

The Bharatiya Janata Party leadership is reportedly considering Prem Kumar Dhumal for the post of Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister, though he lost the Assembly election in the Sujanpur constituency.

Several newly elected MLAs are offering to vacate their seats for him to contest again.

They say his critical and decisive role has helped the party win with such a huge margin.

The BJP won 44 of the 68 seats on November 9.

Pressure to stake claim

“If Mr. Dhumal is ignored by the high command, it will send out a negative signal. The party won a majority on his name. Our winning prospects certainly improved after he was declared the party’s chief ministerial candidate,” an MLA said.

A recent statement by the two-time Chief Minister that he was out of the race has won him more supporters among the new MLAs and they are now forcing him to stake his claim.

Nobody in the party can match his experience and maturity in running the administration, said a team of young MLAs emerging from his house at Samirpur on Wednesday.

Vinod Kumar from Nachan, Hansraj from Churah, Sukhram from Ponta Sahib and Suresh Kashyap from Pachhad and others offered their seats for him to contest. The other names that are being floated now are too inexperienced for the top post, they said.

MPs meet Modi, Shah

Party president Amit Shah met State party in-charge Mangal Pandey and some MPs from the State.

Union Ministers Nirmala Sitharaman and Narendra Tomar, party observers, are likely to arrive here on Thursday to attend a meeting of the newly elected party MLAs.

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