After its stellar performance in Punjab, the Aam Aadmi Party’s ambitions knew no bounds. Kejriwal and his minions were living in a trance. They thought they could win elections in all states. On an immediate basis, AAP was targeting Himachal Pradesh, where polls are due to be held in the next few months. However, such ambitions received a kick in the shin due to the merger of AAP’s Himachal Pradesh unit with the BJP. This was followed by AAP’s working committee in the state getting dissolved and it being left leaderless in the state.
In an exodus out of AAP, earlier on 9th April, state president Anoop Kesari, General Secretary Satish Thakur and President of Una Iqbal Singh had joined BJP in the presence of JP Nadda and Union Minister Anurag Thakur. Later, on April 11, State President of AAP’s Mahila Morcha, Mamta Thakur and Vice President Sonia Bindal and Sangeeta joined the BJP. Furthermore, after the exit of AAP’s State President of Industries Wing DK Tyagi and State President of Social Media Ashish Kumar, Kejriwal had no other option but to dissolve the working committee.
Who is Behind the Anti-AAP Coup in Himachal Pradesh?
There is one man responsible for the pre-poll destruction of Aam Aadmi Party in Himachal Pradesh, and his name is Anurag Thakur. According to sources, Anurag Thakur played an instrumental and active role in taking down the AAP’s leadership in the state and ensuring that they join the saffron camp. That the decapitation of Aam Aadmi Party’s fortunes came late at night, hours after Arvind Kejriwal and Bhagwant Mann kickstarted the party’s campaign in the hill state tells you just how poetic Anurag Thakur can get.
Anurag Thakur is the man who facilitated the entry of Aam Aadmi Party’s entire Himachal Pradesh leadership into the BJP. Interestingly, on April 8, Anurag Thakur was playing a friendly cricket match at Arun Jaitley stadium against ‘Delhi Police Commissioner XI’. He played an impressive inning for ‘MP XI’ of 47 not out against the Delhi Police team.
According to IANS, as the match ended, he left the stadium before the prize distribution ceremony to ensure the induction of Himachal Pradesh AAP President into the BJP before the start of a four-day visit of the BJP Chief to the state. A BJP insider was quoted as saying that Anurag Thakur had placed everything in place and with the guidance of Nadda, ensured that it happened on the same day.
Subsequently, on April 11, Anurag Thakur staged another coup against AAP in Himachal Pradesh. It was on Monday that Himachal Pradesh AAP Women Wing Head, Mamata Thakur and other leaders joined the BJP in New Delhi.
The Rise of Anurag Thakur
Anurag Thakur and BJP President JP Nadda both hail from Himachal Pradesh, which is why they both make such a good team when it comes to dealing with the hill state’s political affairs. Anurag Thakur himself has a very strong grip on Himachal and is a sensation within his home state.
But Himachal Pradesh is not the only place where Anurag Thakur has fans. Many in the BJP are also very impressed by the capabilities and political acumen that Thakur harbours. It is for this very reason that Anurag Thakur is a man who has consistently been promoted by the BJP within the organisation, and also within the Modi government.
In May 2008, Thakur was elected as a Member of Parliament of India’s 14th Lok Sabha from the Hamirpur constituency. He was re-elected to the Lok Sabha in 2009, 2014, and 2019. In 2010, he was appointed the national president of Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha. In May 2019, Thakur became Minister of State for Finance and Corporate Affairs.
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After the cabinet rejigs by Prime Minister Modi, Thakur was appointed as the Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports and Minister of Information & Broadcasting in July 2021.
Now, Anurag Thakur is rumoured to be a frontrunner for the BJP’s chief ministerial candidate for the upcoming Himachal Pradesh elections. This shows the growing stature of Thakur within the BJP, and none of it is without a valid reason. Anurag Thakur has earned all the feathers in his cap.