Prem Kumar Dhumal
Prem Kumar Dhumal in 2008
5th Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh
In office
30 December 2007 – 25 December 2012
Preceded byVirbhadra Singh
Succeeded byVirbhadra Singh
In office
24 March 1998 – 5 March 2003
Preceded byVirbhadra Singh
Succeeded byVirbhadra Singh
Member of Parliament, Lok Sabha
In office
Preceded bySuresh Chandel
Succeeded byAnurag Thakur
In office
Preceded byNarain Chand
Succeeded byVikram Singh
Personal details
Born (1944-04-10) 10 April 1944 (age 79)
Samirpur, Punjab Province, British India
(now Himachal Pradesh, India)
Political partyBharatiya Janata Party
SpouseSheela Dhumal
ChildrenArun Singh Dhumal and Anurag Thakur
Alma materM.A., Doaba College, Jalandhar
LL.B., Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar

Prem Kumar Dhumal (pronounced [preːmə kʊmaːrə d̪ʱuːmələ]; born 10 April 1944) is an Indian politician and has twice served as the Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh, from March 1998 to March 2003 and again from 1 January 2008 to 25 December 2012. He was the Bharatiya Janata Party's Chief Ministerial candidate for the 2017 Himachal Assembly Election, in which he lost his seat.

As chief minister of Himachal massive phone tapping scandal took place, where phones of over 1100 civilians were illegally recorded. Where permission was only taken for around 170 phones. This was massive breach of privacy. BJP's Shanta Kumar also requested to disclose names of people whose phones were tapped during Dhumal's tenure.[1]

Early life

Prem Kumar Dhumal was born on 10 April 1944 in Samirpur village, Hamirpur district.[2] His father's name was Capt. Mahant Ram and mother Phulmu Devi.[2] He has M.A. (Eng), and LL.B. degrees following his education at Doaba College in Jalandhar and Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar.[2][3] He became a lecturer at a private college in Punjab.[4]

Dhumal married Sheela on 23 May 1972,[2][3] with whom he has two sons, Arun Singh Dhumal and Anurag Thakur. The latter is also a politician and has been a member of the 14th and 15th Lok Sabhas, as well as Minister of State in Finance but was elevated to the rank of Cabinet Minister for Minister of Sports and Youth Affairs and Minister of Information and Broadcasting in the July 2021.

Political career

Dhumal became vice-president of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha in 1982.[5] In 1984, he was selected as the candidate for the Hamirpur parliamentary constituency when the sitting Member of the Himachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly (MLA), and state stalwart Jagdev Chand, refused to stand.[5] Dhumal lost that election but won in 1989 and 1991,[2] and before losing the seat to Major General Bikram Singh in the 1996 Indian general election.[4]

After the sudden death of Jagdev Chand in 1993,[5] Dhumal became active in state politics.[5] Dhumal was elected president of the Bharatiya Janata Party in Himachal Pradesh and became the state's Chief Minister following the March 1998 state assembly elections.[5] He won the Bamsan constituency of the Himachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly with a margin of 18,000 votes.

He headed the BJP-Himachal Vikas Congress coalition government for its full statutory term of five years, from 1998 to 2003[5] and became Leader of the Opposition when the BJP lost power in the 2003 elections,[5][4] winning only 16 seats despite support from the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) Union government.[6]

His tenure as the chief minister saw significant infrastructure developments, particularly of roads, and gave rise to Dhumal being called the Sadak walla Chief Minister.[4]

Dhumal resigned his seat in the Himachal Pradesh legislative assembly upon winning the Hamirpur constituency in a 2007 by-election for the Lok Sabha.[2] The by-election came about because of the expulsion of Suresh Chandel, a BJP Member of Parliament who had been involved in a cash-for-questions scandal.[4][7] A further by-election in May 2008 saw Dhumal replaced as MP by his son, Anurag Thakur.[8]

Dhumal became Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh for a second time after being sworn in on 30 December 2007 after the BJP won that year's assembly elections.[2][9] The BJP lost power in the 2012 elections.[10]

In the state assembly elections of 2017, Dhumal stood as a BJP candidate in the Sujanpur constituency and was the party's proposed candidate for the Chief Ministerial office. Even though the BJP gained majority in the elections, Dhumal lost to Rajinder Rana from the Indian National Congress, thwarting his chances to lead the government for the third time in Himachal Pradesh.[11]

Personal interests

He has written large number of articles which have been published in different leading newspapers on political, cultural, sports and other national issues from time to time and he was the general secretary of the Doaba College literary society and editor of college magazine.[2] His social and cultural interests include helping the poor sections of the society in getting good education free of cost or at cheaper cost and helping the poorer sections of society in getting their daughters married.[2] He has special interest in the field of rural development, employment generation, involvement of youth in constructive work and activities, development of tourism, Hydel power in the state, inspire agriculturists to switch over to horticulture, floriculture and heliculture so that they can increase their income.[2] He has interest in reading and listening to good music in free time. He had also been captain of the college volleyball team for three consecutive years and played it up to his university level.


  1. ^ "phone tapped during dhumal regime".
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Members : Lok Sabha". Lok Sabha. Retrieved 24 February 2021.
  3. ^ a b "Hon'ble Minister, Himachal Pradesh". Archived from the original on 14 April 2012. Retrieved 5 January 2013.
  4. ^ a b c d e "Dhumal leads BJP to power in HP". 28 December 2007. Archived from the original on 22 September 2011. Retrieved 5 January 2013.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g "BJP announces Prem Kumar Dhumal as Himachal CM candidate – Mysuru Today". Citytoday. 24 February 2021. Retrieved 24 February 2021.
  6. ^ Khare, Harish (2 March 2003). "Why Congress won and BJP lost". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 30 April 2003. Retrieved 27 July 2015.
  7. ^ "HP ex-CM Dhumal wins Hamirpur LS bypoll". Rediff. 5 June 2007.
  8. ^ "Sixteenth Lok Sabha Members Bioprofile". Lok Sabha. Retrieved 12 June 2015.
  9. ^ "Dhumal sworn in Chief Minister". The Hindu. 31 December 2007. Retrieved 12 June 2015.
  10. ^ Rajalakshmi, T. K. (29 December 2012). "Cautious in victory". Frontline. Vol. 29, no. 26. Retrieved 12 June 2015.
  11. ^ Pathak, Vikas (19 December 2017). "CM-designate Dhumal loses in Sujanpur, Himachal Pradesh". The Hindu. Retrieved 2 January 2018.
Preceded byVirbhadra Singh Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh 30 December 2007 - December 2012 Succeeded byVirbhadra Singh