Dhumal takes oath as Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister

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Shimla, Dec 30 (UNI) Mr Prem Kumar Dhumal was today sworn in as the sixteenth Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh, two days after the BJP stormed to power in the state cashing in on the wave against the Virbhadra Singh regime. .

The 63-year-old Dhumal was administered the oath of office and secrecy by state Governor V S Kokje in a ceremony at the historical The Ridge Maidan here.

Mr Dhumal took the oath in Hindi. He was the only one to take oath.

The ceremony was held at The Ridge Maidan for the first time amid intense slogan shouting of ''Bharat Mata Ki Jai'' and ''Jai Shree Ram''.

The BJP leadership was present in full strength, led by its Prime Ministerial candidate L K Advani and former Union minister Rudra Pratap Ruddi, party's national vice-president Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and legislators.

Besides, Uttarakhand Chief Minister B C Khanduri, Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Badal and Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhra Raje were the guests present on the occasion.

Immediately after taking oath, Mr Dhumal walked up to the leaders to receive their congratulations and greetings.

Later, he left for Delhi to take part in the Ram Sethu Rally and hold discussions with the party high command for the expansion of his cabinet.

He is the only BJP leader after Shanta Kumar to serve as chief minister for a second tenure.

UNI

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