Shimla: Election of Prem KumarDhumal, who had been declared chief ministerial candidate during the election campaign itself, was not without a glitch for as many as 8 elected members were conspicuously absent at the meeting to formally elect the leader of the legislator party that was held in the presence of the media.
The eight newly elected BJP legislators who were absent included Jagat Prakash Nadda, Rajan Sushant, Kishan Kapoor, Ramesh Dhawala, Virinder Kanwar, Vipin Parmar, Praveen Sharma and Tulsi Ram. These leaders are considered to be close to former chief minister Shanta Kumar.
Sushant, Kapoor and Dhawala are known detractors of Dhumal and had resigned from the cabinet in an earlier tenure after leveling serious charges. Praveen Sharma is a first time MLA from Palampur, the home town of Shanta Kumar. Parmar, Kanwar and Tulsi Ram have been MLAs earlier. Five of the abstaining MLAs belong to Kangra district, and one each from Una, Chamba and Bilaspur districts.
However, the letter handed over to the governor had signatures of all the 41 MLAâ€™s. Later explaining the absence of 8 members at the meet, BJP legal cell incharge Satayapal Jain said they were delayed due to traffic problems but on arriving did sign the letter that was handed over to the Governor.
At the meet, Dhumal was unanimously elected leader of the legislature party by the 33 members who were present. State BJP president Jai Ram Thakur proposed the name of Dhumal as the leader of the legislator party and it was seconded by ID Dhiman and Ravinder Singh Ravi.
The meet was conducted by campaign organizer Satyapal Jain in the presence of Shanta Kumar and Dhanker. On being chosen leader, Dhumal along with Jain, Dhanker, Shanta Kumar and Jai Ram Thakur drove down to the governorâ€™s house to stake claim for forming the new government.