Himachal Pradesh is one of those very few states in which Congress is in Power. Also, it is one of the poll bound states. And it is one of those states where BJP is expected to shove Congress out of power. If Surveys are to be believed BJP is going to demolish Congress in the Hill state by winning close to 50 seats in the 68-seat-assembly. With such a massive victory on cards, BJP must have started searching for its CM Candidate in Himachal Pradesh.
When we talk about the Face of BJP in Himachal Pradesh, JP Nadda (currently the Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare) and Prem Kumar Dhumal (former Chief Minister) immediately come to our minds. Both are old warhorses of BJP in the state, they have immense clout and have a high winnability quotient too. But if several reports in the media are to be believed, it will neither be JP Nadda nor will it be Prem Kumar Dhumal who’ll be considered for the top job. Instead it will be RSS pracharak, Ajay Jamwal, currently the Zonal Organisational Secretary for the North East.
Who is Ajay Jamwal?
Ajay Jamwal is a resident of Joginder Nagar in Mandi district. He is the son of Colonel Ganga Ram Jamwal, a senior BJP leader. Ajay Jamwal Started his political journey as the ABVP campaigner in HPU Shimla. He has functioned as a RSS Pracharak in the states of Arunachal Pradesh and Leh-Ladakh. Ajay Jamwal played a crucial role in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections when he was given the command of the states of Himachal Pradesh and Punjab
Apart from exceptions like Sarbananda Sonowal in Assam, BJP has stuck to its game of holding its cards close to its chest and not declaring the CM Candidate right till the result day.
Apart from other benefits, this strategy averts any internal tussles and minimizes chances of cross voting. The Second and the most important factor that goes in the favour of Ajay Jamwal is that he fits Modi-Shah’s definition of a “New Face”. In Jharkhand a new face Raghubar Das was given a chance, In Haryana, another new face Manohar Lal Khattar was chosen as the chief minister and it was Devendra Fadnavis not exactly a popular face in the state, who was selected as the Chief Minister of Maharashtra. This strategy prevents local unit from becoming parallel power centers which may prove detrimental to the party’s growth in the long term. As of today’s date, BJP hasn’t declared its CM Candidate for Himachal Pradesh and there are no signs of it either, hence it is safe to conclude that BJP will go to poll without declaring a CM Face.
PM Modi in one his rallies in the state, categorically mentioned that Himachal needs a leadership that can last for at least 10-15 years. This could be taken as a jibe on the current leadership which failed in giving the state a steady and continuing government. Neither Shanta Kumar nor Prem Kumar Dhumal could ensure re-election of a BJP government in the state. Also, Age Factor is strongly against both Dhumal and Nadda. Nadda on the other hand is one of PM Modi’s most trusted colleagues in the cabinet, whom the Prime Minister wouldn’t want to lose.
So Ajay Jamwal does look like a top favourite for the post of the Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh.