Virbhadra Singh sworn in as Himachal Pradesh CM

Updated on Mar 06, 2003 11:54 PM IST

The 16-member Cabinet includes PCC chief Vidya Stokes and for the first time in HP three women.

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PTI | ByPress Trust of India, Shimla

Virbhadra Singh was on Thursday sworn in as Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh for the fifth time heading a 16-member Cabinet that included PCC chief Vidya Stokes, who lost the race for the top post.

Governor Suraj Bhan administered the oath of office to the Chief Minister and 15 other Cabinet Ministers at a ceremony in the open lawns of Raj Bhavan.

         Virbhadra Singh
The indomitable 'Raja' of an erstwhile princely state, is back in the saddle for a record fifth time in two decades. The 69-year political heavyweight of Himachal holds the record of winning all the Assembly elections with record margins.

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Sixty nine-year old Singh, a veteran Cngress leader, assumed the office after the Congress regained power after routing the BJP in the recent Assembly elections. the portfolios were not immediately known.

Besides Stokes, the other Cabinet Ministers sworn in were Kaul Singh Thakur, Sat Mahajan, Chander Kumar, Rangila Ram Rao, Chandresh Kumari, Ram Lal Thakur, Asha Kumari, Brij Bihari Lal Butail, Raj Kishan Gaur, Vijay Singh Mankotia, Kuldeep Kumar, Singhi Ram, Harsh Mahajan and G S Bali.

Five ministers took oath in English while the Chief Minister and other ministers took oath in Hindi.

For the first time in the history of Himachal Pradesh, three women were inducted as Cabinet Ministers. In the previous ministries, women were made state ministers but Cabinet berth was never given to the fair sex.

The Cabinet included two former speakers, Vidya Stokes and Kaul Singh Thakur. There were three new faces in the new Cabinet: Singhi Ram, G S Bali and Harsh Mahajan.

Harsh Mahajan was Parliamentary Secretary in the previous Vir Bhadra Singh government, but has been made Cabinet minister for the first time.


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