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Dhumal to take charge on Dec 30

By Onkar Singh in New Delhi
December 28, 2007 16:36 IST
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Bharatiya Janata Party President Rajnath Singh has appointed Satpal Jain as the party's nominee to oversee 63-year-old Prem Kumar Dhumal taking over as the leader of the party's Himachal Pradesh unit in Shimla on Saturday.

Talking to, Singh expressed his satisfaction over the party's performance in the Himachal Pradesh assembly election. "Advaniji, Sushmaji and I will travel to Shimla to attend the swearing in ceremony of Dhumal. While the BJP's base is expending, the Congress base is shrinking. According to the information available with us, our vote share has gone up by 10 per cent, from 35 per cent to 45 per cent, and we have bagged 41 seats in the Himachal elections," he said.

Singh said that their next target was winning the assembly elections in Karnataka, where the party had been denied the chance of forming the government.

On Friday, BJP general secretary Arun Jaitley was felicitated by Singh on the former's birthday. "We have won Gujarat against all odds and we won in Himachal because the of the non-performance of the Virbhadra Singh government. I will also attend the swearing in ceremony in Shimla," Jaitley said.

Asked how the party would fight the anti-incumbency factor in Chattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, Jaitley said that his party has learnt, from its experience in Gujarat, how to translate anti-incumbency to their advantage.

Understandably, the mood at the BJP headquarters in Delhi was upbeat with Venkaiah Naidu occasionally coming up with his famous one liners to add a touch of humour to the celebrations. Senior leader Sushma Swaraj also made a brief appearance at the party headquarters in the morning and spoke to some television channels.
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Onkar Singh in New Delhi