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Anurag Thakur shines as three AAP leaders join the BJP

After Kejriwal’s roadshow a few days back the BJP has hit back. Three of the senior AAP leaders joined the BJP in Shimla in the presence of party chief JP Nadda and Union Minister Anurag Thakur.

SNS | New Delhi |

The elections are months away in the hill state of Himachal but the political activity has already begun. While the BJP is comfortably saddled, AAP is trying to make inroads into the state.

After Kejriwal’s roadshow a few days back the BJP has hit back. Three of the senior AAP leaders joined the BJP in Shimla in the presence of party chief JP Nadda and Union Minister Anurag Thakur.

The state unit chief of AAP, Anup Kesari, along with other key leaders from the hill state – Satish Thakur and Iqbal Singh – joined the BJP on Saturday ahead of the upcoming state assembly elections.

Anurag Thakur welcomed the top three leaders to the party. In a tweet he said, “Arvind Kejriwal does not pay attention to his party workers. Those who shed their sweat on the ground for eight years did not even get a chance to stand on their chariots. These AAP leaders have joined BJP for their self-respect and self-respect of Himachal,” he was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

In the local political parlance it has been seen as Anurag Thakur’s claim to fame. Anurag Thakur comes from Himachal and has a very solid presence in the state. For some he is being seen as the next chief minister of the state. Even Manish Sisodia has also stated that the BJP might bring in Anurag Thakur before the elections and replace Jai Ram Thakur.

There is indeed merit in the claim that today Anurag Thakur’s stature has risen and he is one of the most prominent faces of the BJP from Himachal Pradesh.

The speculation that Anurag Thakur may replace the present CM is not without substance. Jai Ram Thakur was not the first choice of the party in 2017. He was the next best candidate after Prem Kumar Dhumal. Jai Ram Thakur was summoned to Delhi earlier this month when the party was deciding the fate of its chief ministers and was also seen to be contemplating the change in the hill state.

Besides, the party has constantly elevated   Anurag Thakur. He was promoted to the rank of Union cabinet minister from state minister shows party’s inclination.  Anurag has been getting good response for his ‘Jan Ashirwad’ yatra and spending more time in his home state. He is also part of the decision making body for the state. On the other hand Jai Ram has been drawing flak for his not so impressive performance in the state which has given ammunition to AAP and helped raise its stature in the state.

Questions have been raised about his weak grip on the government, a lacklustre bureaucracy and non-performing ministers—some facing corruption charges.

Anurag Thakur is indeed a candidate for the top post in the state CM’s post as he also carries the legacy of his father Prem Kumar Dhumal, a two-time CM.

In May 2008, Thakur succeeded his father when he was elected as Member of Parliament of India’s 14th Lok Sabha from Hamirpur constituency. He was re-elected to the  Lok Sabha in 2009, 2014, and in 2019.

Later, in 2010 Thakur was appointed the national president of Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha  He was honored with the Sansad Ratna Award in 2019 for outstanding performance in the 16th Lok Sabha. In May 2019, Thakur became Minister of State for Finance and Corporate Affairs.

On 7 July 2021, Thakur was appointed as the Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports and Minister of Information & Broadcasting.in the Second Modi ministry as part of changes in the Union Council of Ministers.