Shah made the announcement at a public meeting, putting to rest speculation over the party's choice for the top post.
"The BJP is going to fight the Himachal Pradesh assembly polls under the leadership of Prem Kumar Dhumal...Dhumal is currently a former CM but after December 18, he will be the new chief minister of the state," Shah said.
The assembly poll is scheduled on November 9 and results will be declared on December 18.
Union minister J P Nadda was seen as one of the contenders but Dhumal's mass connect in the hill state seems to have tipped the scale in his favour.
BJP set to sweep Himachal Pradesh, finds opion poll
An opinion poll conducted by Lokniti-CSDS for ABP News has found that the BJP is all set to dethrone Congress from power in Himachal Pradesh and sweep the upcoming Assembly elections. According to the survey, BJP is expected get 39-45 seats in the 68-member assembly while the now ruling Congress will be reduced to 22-28 seats.
When asked to indicate who they would vote for if elections were held the very next day, 47 per cent of voters indicated BJP as their choice. The Congress was the vote choice of 41 percent respondents. Other smaller parties were preferred by 12 per cent respondents.
The survey has also found that there was a disappointment among people on the issues of GST and demonetisation.
Voting for the 68-seat Himachal Pradesh assembly will take place on 9 November and the results will be declared on 18 December.
Congress won 36 of the 68 seats in 2012 Assembly election with a vote share of 42.81%, while the BJP bagged 26 seats with a 38.47% vote share.
The BJP in 2014 Lok Sabha elections had won all the four seats with a vote percentage of 53.85 per cent. At that time, the Congress, which was at helm in the state, got 41.07 per cent votes.
Congress has named six-time Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, 83, to lead the party in the election campaigning and if the party returns to power he will be the chief ministerial candidate.
(With PTI inputs)
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