Tribune News Service
Shimla, September 17
President Ram Nath Kovind on Friday addressed the special session of the Himachal Pradesh Vidhan Sabha to mark the golden jubilee celebrations of Himachal’s statehood.
President Kovind, in his address, said he felt honoured to address the assembly on its golden anniversary. “This Council Chamber building where we are meeting has been witness to historic moments. It was here that Vitthal Bhai Patel defeated the British nominee to win the Central Legislative Assembly election,” he said.
He said 101-year-old Ram Sharan Negi of Kinnaur was the first voter of independent India and is now the brand ambassador of the Election Commission of India.
He said Himachal had been ranked second in Development Indicators as per the India Index Report, 2020-21. He recalled all former CM’s, both from the Congress and the BJP, for their contribution in taking Himachal ahead on path of development.
He paid tributes to valiant soldiers, including Param Vir Chakra awardees Major Som Nath Sharma, Capt Vikram Batra and Rifleman Sanjay Kumar.
Addressing the Assembly, Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur said Himachal had become the 18th state of the country on January 25, 1971. He said Himachal had come a long way as due to geographical constraints there were hurdles in development. “Today, Himachal is ranked a model hill state,” he said.
He said there were 7,370 km roads in HP then as compared to 37,808 km now.
Thakur said Himachal had emerged as a power-surplus state with its share of 11,000 MW in the country’s total power generation of 45,000 MW. He said Himachal is the fruit bowl of the country and is a top international tourist destination.
Governor Rajender Vishwanath Arlekar also addressed the special session. He thanked the President for gracing the occasion. “The Vidhan Sabha is temple of democracy as MLAs raise issues concerning the public,” he remarked. He said such an assembly should be considered a place for healthy debate and not for confrontation.
Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting Anurag Thakur, former CM Prem Kumar Dhumal and former Vidhan Sabha Speakers are also attending the session.
This is the third occasion when the President is addressing the Vidhan Sabha. Prior to this, APJ Abdul Kalam and Pranab Mukherjee had addressed the special session of the Assembly.
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