President Kovind to visit presidential estate in Himachal where he was denied entry
Kovind, travelling in an official vehicle, and members of his family, in cabs, were turned away by the staff at the retreat as he did not have required permission from President’s office.Updated: May 19, 2018 08:18 IST
A year ago, when he was governor of Bihar, President Ram Nath Kovind was turned away from the Mashobra Retreat, part of the presidential estate in Himachal Pradesh, because he did not have the President’s permission to enter the high-security building.
On Monday, he will revisit the building, and be welcomed to it as the President of India. He will stay there for three days.
In June 2017, Kovind and his family were holidaying in Shimla as a guest of Himachal Pradesh governor Acharya Devvrat. Kovind visited Shimla catchment area Cheogh and, on his way back, drove to the Presidential Retreat located about 14 km from Shimla to take a look at the historic building.
Kovind, travelling in an official vehicle, and members of his family, in cabs, were turned away by the staff at the retreat as he did not have required permission from President’s office.
Kovind did not complain or create a scene when he was turned away. It was much later that his hosts realised what had happened.
Constructed in 1850, the retreat is managed by the President’s office. The building, spread over 987 square metres, was taken over by the British government in 1859. It is the second President’s Retreat after Rashtrapati Nilayam in Hyderabad. Mashobra’s retreat building was made a part of the presidential estate after the Viceregal Lodge, which was turned into Rashtrapati Niwas after Independence, was handed over to the Indian Institute of Advanced Study.
All -India Congress Committee president Rahul Gandhi’s sister Priyanka Gandhi has a cottage that is situated just half a kilometre away.
During his stay in Shimla, Kovind will attend the ninth convocation of Dr Yashwant Singh Parmar University of Horticulture and forestry in Nauni. The university was founded in 1985 with the objective of promoting research in forestry and horticulture. Governor Acharya Devvrat and chief minister Jai Ram Thakur will also be present. Thakur, who holds the home portfolio of the state government, reviewed arrangements for the event on Thursday.
He directed officers to ensure arrangements for smooth plying of vehicles with minimum inconvenience to the general public and tourists. This is peak tourist season in hill stations across India.