Jai Ram Thakur on Wednesday was sworn in as the 13th Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh at the historic Ridge Maidan in Shimla.
Governor Acharya Devvrat administered the oath of office and secrecy to Thakur, who will turn 53 on January 6. This will be his maiden term as Chief Minister.
The swearing-in ceremony was attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Rajnath Singh, and BJP President Amit Shah. Union ministers J.P. Nadda and Nitin Gadkari along with the Chief Ministers of various BJP-ruled states and more than 30,000 party supporters from across the state were also present at the ceremony.
BJP veteran L.K. Advani was also present. Five-time legislator Thakur, who rose through the ranks and is known for his humble, clean and low-profile nature, took the oath in Hindi. Thakur's family members, including his 80-year-old widowed mother, who belongs to a remote village in Mandi district, attended the ceremony.
"This is the victory of the common man," Thakur's wife Sadhna Thakur, who is a doctor by profession, said before the oath-taking ceremony.
The 12-member cabinet, comprising Thakur, has six former ministers and an equal number of first-time ministers, a blend of experienced and new faces.
The others who took the oath were former Cabinet Ministers Mohinder Singh, Kishan Kapoor, Sarveen Chaudhary, Anil Sharma, former Minister Ram Lal Markanday along with new faces Suresh Bhardwaj, Vipin Singh Parmar, Virender Kanwar, Vikram Thakur, Gobind Thakur and Rajeev Sahjal. Sarveen Chaudhary is the lone woman minister in the cabinet.
All the Ministers took the oath in Hindi, except Bhardwaj and Gobind Thakur, who took the oath in Sanskrit.
Senior legislators and former Cabinet Minister Rajeev Bindal, Narender Bragta and Ramesh Dhawala did not find a place in the cabinet.
Outgoing Congress Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh and his erstwhile cabinet colleagues were conspicuously absent from the ceremony.