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Popular Hamirpur MP Anurag Thakur, Who Rode Modi Wave to Victory in Polls, Takes Oath as MoS

The 44-year-old son of former chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal, Thakur beat Congress’s Ram Lal Thakur with a margin of over 3.8 lakh votes.

News18.com

Updated:May 31, 2019, 3:03 PM IST
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New Delhi: Anurag Thakur, three-time MP from Hamirpur in Himachal Pradesh, is likely to get his first cabinet portfolio in Narendra Modi’s second government. The 44-year-old son of former chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal, Thakur beat Congress’s Ram Lal Thakur with a margin of over 3.8 lakh votes.

Performance in Lok Sabha Elections 2019

While campaigning in Hamirpur, BJP chief Amit Shah had reportedly told Thakur, “I will give you an important responsibility.”

The Hamirpur MP, who had won three previous terms, had been a comfortable choice for the BJP even as the Congress struggled to settle on a candidate until much later in the run-up to the elections before finally fielding former athlete and five-time legislator Ram Lal.

But Thakur’s popularity as former BCCI chief and incumbent MP, coupled with the Modi wave, seems to have worked in his favour. He banked heavily on Modi’s popularity in the state and party bigwigs like Amit Shah threw his weight behind the candidate, smoothly cutting through any anti-incumbency that might have brewed.

Political life

In 2000, at the age of 25, Thakur took charge of the then nearly-defunct Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) and is often regarded as the principal force driving the building of the world-acclaimed HPCA Stadium in the heart of the Dhauladhar mountain range at Dharamshala.

The ambitious leader’s first electoral win came in 2008, when he was elected to the Lok Sabha after winning a bypoll election in Hamirpur, the seat his father had vacated to become chief minister in 2007.

Thakur was elected as BCCI president in 2016 although his stint as the chief of India’s premier cricketing body was short-lived. He was found prima facie guilty by the Supreme Court for “perjury” and “contempt of court” and his failure to implement the Lodha reforms.

In 2016, Thakur also became the first BJP MP to become a regular commissioned Officer of the Territorial Army. As president of All India Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha, Thakur led the ‘Rashtriya Ekta Yatra’ from West Bengal to Jammu and Kashmir with a goal of unfurling the Tricolour at Srinagar’s Lal Chowk.

Thakur was later removed as BJYM president after the being sacked from BCCI by the apex court. He is one of the youngest parliamentarians and was named the “Best Young Parliamentarian” in 2011.

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