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Monday, Sep 23, 2019

People have shown faith in us, says Himachal CM-elect Jai Ram Thakur ahead of oath-taking

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union ministers and five CMs among the host of leaders to descend on the capital to attend the swearing-in ceremony.

india Updated: Dec 27, 2017 10:14 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Shimla
Himachal Pradesh’s chief minister designate Jai Ram Thakur with his family members in Shimla on Tuesday. (HT Photo)
Himachal Pradesh’s chief minister designate Jai Ram Thakur with his family members in Shimla on Tuesday. (HT Photo)

People have shown faith in us and we will try to meet their expectations, BJP leader Jai Ram Thakur, who will take oath as the new chief minister of Himachal Pradesh, said on Wednesday.

Shimla’s historic ridge ground has turned into a fortress as it will be the site of the Thakur-led BJP government’s swearing-in ceremony on Wednesday.

A host of BJP bigwigs, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, are expected to attend the ceremony and the party’s state unit has gone all out to ensure that the event, being held on the ecologically fragile ground, proves to be a success.

Stating that he misses his father who died last year, Thakur told ANI that his mother too was unwell but her blessings were with him.

Thakur’s wife Sadhana Thakur called the BJP’s victory in the Himachal Pradesh election “a win for the common man”.

“There are a lot of expectations with this government that they will try and solve the problems faced by the public,” she said.

Functions on the ridge have often been mired in controversy with environmentalists raising concerns over its delicate terrain. It is for the third time that a swearing-in ceremony is being organised at the ground, which has a British era water storage tank beneath it.

Prem Kumar Dhumal was the first chief minister to take oath here in 2008 along with his cabinet. Later, Virbhadra Singh’s oath-taking ceremony was also organised at the same place. Prior to 2008, the ceremony was held at the governor’s official residence, Barnes Court.

The local administration has made elaborate security arrangements for the VVIPs. Barricades have been erected at the Mall road and the ridge, which has caused inconvenience to both the locals and tourists.

“The security checks and barricading are hampering the movement of pedestrians,” Ravinder Kumar, a visitor from Chandigarh, said.

“Shimla town has only one open space and that too has been turned into a fortress,” said another tourist Mohit Chauhan. On normal days, the ridge is off limits for vehicles and only fire tenders and ambulances are excluded from this rule.

As many as 50,000 people are expected to reach the ridge on Wednesday. “All arrangements for the swearing-in are in place,” deputy commissioner Rohan Chand Thakur told HT. CM-designate Thakur is himself overseeing the arrangements for the ceremony.

Earlier, on Tuesday morning, Thakur called on former CM Prem Kumar Dhumal and reportedly consulted him over the cabinet formation.

Rahul to visit Shmila

Congress president Rahul Gandhi will visit Shimla on Friday to seek feedback from party workers and candidates on the reasons for their recent defeat in the state assembly polls.

Congress general secretary Naresh Chauhan said the party chief will hold two interactive sessions. “Rahulji will meet the party’s senior leaders, officer-bearers and candidates, to assess the causes of our defeat”.

First Published: Dec 27, 2017 08:26 IST