Himachal Pradesh Assembly Elections: Top Candidates for the CM Post

Hailing from a humble family in the Mandi district, Jairam began his political career with the ABVP, the student wing of the RSS, in the state and was appointed its joint secretary in 1986. He was the organizing secretary of the ABVP for Jammu & Kashmir in 1989-93 and became the president of Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) state, the youth wing of the BJP.

Subsequently, Jairam was inducted into the state BJP, where he rose from the position of district head of Mandi to become president of the state party in 2006.

Jairam has won five consecutive parliamentary elections since 1998 from Chachiot and Seraj (Chachiot demarcated constituency) in Mandi and was the panchayati raj and minister of rural development from 2009-2012 in the previous BJP government.

In the 2017 parliamentary elections, the BJP ousted the incumbent Congress from power, but Saffron Party leader and CM face Prem Kumar Dhumal lost.

Pratibha Singh

Pratibha Singh

Congress

Pratibha Singh was first elected to Lok Sabha in 2004 from the Mandi seat, which was also previously represented by Virbhadra Singh. As a Member of Parliament, she remained a member of the Social and Justice Empowerment, Ministry of Tourism and Public Enterprise Committees. Pratibha defeated current CM Jairam Thakur of the same seat in the 2013 bypolls vacated after Virbhadra took the CM post. She also won the Mandi Lok Sabha poll last year after it was abandoned following the death of BJP candidate Ram Swaroop Sharma. This year Pratibha was elevated to the position of HPCC chief.

Mukesh Agnihotri

Mukesh Agnihotri

Congress

A four-time congressman, Mukesh Agnihotri, 60, is the Leader of the Opposition (LoP) in the Himachal Pradesh Assembly after being elected leader of the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) following the November 2017 state assembly polls. first election in 2003 from the seat of the Santokgarh Assembly in Una district. He was re-elected from the constituency in 2007. He went on to beat the Haroli constituency, which was called Santokhgarh before the demarcation, in the 2012 and 2017 Assembly polls.

Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu

Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu

Congress

A three-time MLA from Himachal Pradesh and the head of the congressional electoral commission has emerged as a CM face in the state. Sukhu’s role in the party is clear: he heads the election campaign committee for the polls scheduled for later this year. Over time, the 58-year-old leader has built up a base of support among the local population and within the party cadres. Sukhu’s challenge remains to ensure a winning election amid the infighting within the party, which intensified after the death of party leader and longest-serving CM Virbadhra Singh. Against this background, the battle for the CM post is likely to deepen.

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