Jai Ram
Thakur’s ascension to Himachal Pradesh chief ministership is a testament of the
Indian equivalent of the American dream, or dreams any democracy seeks to fulfil.
A poor mason worker’s son from the small village of Tandi in Mandi district in
northern Himachal, Thakur’s rise to the centre-stage has been like the man’s
personality – quiet and efficient.

Saturday, November 12, Jai Ram Thakur will be facing his biggest political battle
so far. For the 57-year-old Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader, the Himachal
Pradesh Assembly elections 2022 are a referendum on his governance of the hill
state since 2017 when the party coasted to power with 44 out of 68 seats, a 65%

Also Read | BJP manifesto for Himachal Pradesh: Uniform Civil Code, 33% quota for women

BJP’s chief ministerial candidate Prem Kumar Dhumal lost the polls in Sujanpur.
Jai Ram Thakur, an RSS man, was picked to take up the role.

Who is
Jai Ram Thakur?

Jai Ram
Thakur was born on January 6, 1965 in Tandi village which lies in the Thunag
region of Himachal Pradesh’s Mandi district to Jethul Ram and Briku Devi.
Thakur was fourth of five siblings with two sisters and three brothers. Much of
Thakur’s childhood was spent in poverty.

Jai Ram
Thakur did his Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree from Vallabh Government College in
Mandi graduating in 1987. Subsequently, he did his Master of Arts (MA) degree
from Panjab University in Chandigarh.

Also Read | Explainer: What is the Old Pension Scheme?

Jai Ram
Thakur married his ABVP (Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad) colleague Sadhana
Thakur, a doctor by profession. Sadhana is from a Kannadiga family born and
raised in Jaipur, Rajasthan. The couple has two daughters.

It was
while at Vallabh College that Thakur was introduced to ABVP, the student wing of
the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). He rose swiftly within the organisation
and soon became president of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha, BJP’s youth wing.

Jai Ram
Thakur was elected to the Himachal Pradesh Assembly for the first time in 1998.
And since then he has served as an MLA for a straight 24 years. Thakur is the
first Himachal Pradesh chief minister from Mandi and the 14th chief
minister of the state.