Political bonhomie colours the day as HT turns 18 | punjab | Hindustan Times
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Political bonhomie colours the day as HT turns 18

The scent of summer in the air seemed to have brushed off on the guests who included Punjab governor, chief ministers of Punjab, Haryana and Himachal, Punjab health minister Brahm Mohindra, MLA Randeep Singh Nabha, who touched Amarinder’s feet, Haryana finance minister Capt Abhimanyu, and former MPs from Chandigarh Pawan Kumar Bansal and Satya Pal Jain.

punjab Updated: Apr 19, 2018 13:52 IST
Rajanbir Singh Virk
Himachal Pradesh chief minister Jairam Thakur, Punjab chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh, Punjab governor VP Singh Badnore and Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar during HT’s Turning 18 event in Chandigarh on Wednesday.
Himachal Pradesh chief minister Jairam Thakur, Punjab chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh, Punjab governor VP Singh Badnore and Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar during HT’s Turning 18 event in Chandigarh on Wednesday. (Keshav Singh/HT)

Political bonhomie was the flavour of the day as HT celebrated its 18th anniversary to the scent of summer, a clear sky, and who’s who of the region.

It was heartwarming to see Punjab CM Capt Amarinder Singh walking up to former CM Parkash Singh Badal, the first to arrive, to inquire about his health. Complimenting him, leader of Opposition Sukhpal Khaira said, “Badal saab, you look very good on television,” to which MP Prem Singh Chandumajra said, “He looks handsome in real life too.”

The scent of summer in the air seemed to have brushed off on the guests who included Punjab governor, chief ministers of Punjab, Haryana and Himachal, Punjab health minister Brahm Mohindra, MLA Randeep Singh Nabha, who touched Amarinder’s feet, Haryana finance minister Capt Abhimanyu, and former MPs from Chandigarh Pawan Kumar Bansal and Satya Pal Jain.

The first guest at the podium, Captain Amarinder recounted how he first set his eyes on HT during his school days. There used to be a newspaper stand outside his common room from where he would always grab a copy of HT, he said. Even today, it’s the first paper he picks up. Later, he tweeted how he enjoyed being part of HT’s 18th anniversary celebrations.

HT celebrated its 18th anniversary to the scent of summer, a clear sky, and who’s who of the region. (Keshav Singh/HT)

Former CM Badal said he too begins his morning with a hot cup of tea in one hand and HT in the other. “One sip is followed by one headline,” he said.

Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar was full of anticipation for HT Gurugram’s launch on June 1. He praised the paper for presenting news without agenda.

Himachal CM Jairam Thakur said the paper was making big inroads in the state. “It is even read in villages,” he said. Governor VP Singh Badnore invited HT to partner with him to end stubble burning.

Also present was Canadian consul general Christopher Gibbins, who said he was quite enjoying his busy stint in the city. British deputy high commissioner Andrew Ayre, who was amongst the first to discover the newly-minted City Forest, said he was bracing for the long, hard summer. Hockey legend Balbir Sigh Senior impressed everyone with his signature handshake and the twinkle in his eyes. Singh was born in 1924, the same year as HT.

The gathering had a smattering of business leaders such as Ravibir Grewal, president of Chandigarh Golf Club, Rakesh Kerwell, director, North, DLF, and Ashish Bhatia, CEO, Fortis among others. Mayor Davesh Moudgil also nipped in as did former mayor Pradeep Chhabra.