Dhumal to be sworn-in as Himachal CM

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Shimla, Dec 30: Bharatiya Janata Party leader Prem Kumar Dhumal will today sworn-in as the sixteenth Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh. Dhumal will be sworn-in by state Governor V S Kokje at the Ridge maidan here. Kokje invited Dhumal after the latter met him to stake his claim to form the next government in the state following his election as the state BJP Legislature Party leader.

Dhumal, a three-time MLA, had earlier headed the BJP Government from 1998-2003. He is said to be the first Chief Minister, who will administer the oath of the Chief Minister's (CM) office at a public ceremony. BJP's prime ministerial candidate L K Advani, senior leaders Arun Jaitley and Sushma Swaraj and Uttaranchal CM B C Khanduri, Rajasthan CM Vasundhara Raje, Chhattisgarh CM Raman Singh and Punjab CM Prakash Singh Badal are likely to attend the swearing-in ceremony.

Dhumal won from Bamsan in Hamirpur district, defeating Congress candidate Col (R) BC Lagwal by 26,000 votes.

After winning nearly two-third seats in Gujarat earlier this week, the BJP scored a comfortable victory yesterday in the state, bagging 41 seats in the 68-member Assembly.

The party has returned to power in the state after a gap of five years. This was its best performance in the state, with having increased its vote share by nearly 12 per cent.

On the other hand, the Congress won 23 seats and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) won one seat. Independents bagged the remaining three seats.

Incumbent Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh retained Rohru in Shimla District winning by a margin of 14,000 votes.

The term of the 68-member State Assembly is to end on March 9, 2008.

 

ANI
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