The Bharatiya Janata Party on Sunday announced five-time MLA Jairam Thakur as the next chief minister of Himachal Pradesh. A BJP delegation, including Union ministers Nirmala Sitharaman, Narendra Singh Tomar, along with Thakur met Himachal Pradesh Governor Acharya Devvrat to stake claim to form government in the state.

The swearing-in ceremony will take place on December 27, which will be attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Thakur said, according to ANI.

Earlier on Sunday, a high-level BJP meeting was held in Shimla that was attended by the party’s central observers. Thakur was appointed the leader of the Legislature Party. Tomar said Thakur’s name was proposed by former chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal and was seconded by Nadda and senior party leader Shanta Kumar.

“Our dream of a Congress-free Himachal Pradesh has been realised,,” the 52-year-old leader told reporters, adding that he will “leave no stone unturned” to meet the expectations of the people of Himachal Pradesh.

Thakur, who represents Seraj constituency, is the first chief minister from Mandi district, where the BJP won nine of the 10 seats in the Assembly election. He has served as a rural development and panchayati raj minister when Dhumal was the chief minister of the state.

On Friday, supporters of Dhumal had protested outside the venue of a BJP meeting in Shimla when central observers were discussing the appointment of new chief minister. Dhumal was the BJP’s chief ministerial candidate for Himachal Pradesh but he lost the Sujanpur Assembly seat.

On December 18, the BJP won 44 out of 68 seats of the Himachal Pradesh Assembly.