Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu , a four-term MLA from Nadaun, 40 years dedicated loyalty as congress man , command over party workers and rapport with local residents ensured a Congress win in 4 of 5 assembly seats in Hamirpur, otherwise known to be a BJP stronghold.

According to sources, his name was always in discussions as a CM probable but opposed by state unit chief Pratibha Singh. The only other top contender was Mukesh Agnihotri, who was the leader of the opposition . 

Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu was chosen as the 15th chief minister of Himachal Pradesh on Saturday, a mark of his dedication to the Congress for 40 years now. 

Known to be a mass leader and a product of student politics, Sukhu has emerged victorious from his assembly seat the last three terms. Many feel that his command over party workers and rapport with local residents ensured a victory for the Congress in four out of five assembly seats in Hamirpur. Otherwise, this was known to be a BJP stronghold led by union minister Anurag Thakur and his father Prem Kumar Dhumal.

With the results of the assembly elections this time, four seats in Hamirpur went to the Congress and one to an Independent – the state Congress has now started calling it “BJP-mukt Hamirpur” and party leaders have credited this victory to Sukhu.

The senior Congress leader, considered to be a close aide of Rahul Gandhi, has been a frontrunner ever since the results were declared on December 8. 

Apart from the support of the MLAs, he has been a man with strong organisational capabilities and is also from lower Himachal, which has not had a chief minister yet. Sukhu has a masters degree in law from Himachal Pradesh University  in northern India. 

His journey began with the National Students Union of India, the student wing of the Congress, in which he was the state president for seven years. As a student struggling financially, he has even worked as a newspaper agent to supplement his income during college days. 

On the personal front, his wife Kamlesh is a homemaker and the couple has two daughters who are studying in Delhi.

Having won from the Nadaun assembly constituency in Hamirpur since 2003, the 58-year-old has been a known critic and opponent of former congress chief minister Virbhadra Singh.

It also came as a surprise to many that despite not belonging to the Virbhadra camp, he remained the state Congress president for six and a half years till 2018. Before that, he was a councillor at the Municipal Corporation of Shimla from 1993 to 1998.