Khimi Ram assumes charge as new Himachal BJP president

Shimla, Feb 3 (Calcutta Tube) Two-time legislator Khimi Ram was Wednesday unanimously elected the state Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president, a party leader said here.

‘Ram was this (Wednesday) afternoon unanimously elected the president of the state party. He also assumed the charge of the party chief,’ BJP leader Satya Pal Jain told IANS.

BJP national president Nitin Gadkari cleared his name Tuesday at a meeting held in New Delhi.

Party insiders said that senior-most leader and former union minister Shanta Kumar was absent from the election process.

They said that Kumar expressed his resentment immediately after the party high command named Ram for the post. Civil Supplies Minister Ramesh Dhawala and Industries Minister Kishan Kapoor along with some legislators, who are close to Kumar, were also absent from the election process.

When Satya Pal Jain, who is also in charge of party state affairs, was asked about Kumar’s absence from the election process, he replied: ‘I talked to him on the phone this (Wednesday) morning and he expressed his inability to participate in the election as he is pre-occupied with some work.’ He, however, added that ‘we will meet him in a few days’.

Kumar had also criticised the BJP government in the state over the CD controversy, one of which points fingers at Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal.

On Kumar’s assertions on the controversy, Jain said: ‘He is a senior party leader. We respect his feelings.’

On assuming charge, Ram told reporters: ‘My aim would be to strengthen the party and to highlight the two-year achievements of the government.’

Ram was nominated the state party chief in July last year after Jairam Thakur, who headed the state BJP then, was inducted into the state cabinet.

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