Shimla: Prem Kumar Dhumal was sworn in Himachalâ€™s 16th chief minister in the presence of senior party leaders and four other chief ministers who attended the swearing in function.
Governor VS Kokje administered the oath of office and secrecy in a public ceremony, held for the first time on historic The Ridge Maidan here, amidst a large gathering of people from all over the state. Dhumal was the only person to be sworn today.
Besides senior party leader LK Advani, the Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje, Uttrakhand chief minister BC Khanduri and Punjab chief minister Prakash Singh Badal were present for the oath ceremony. Other BJP leaders present included Shanta Kumar, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, Pratap Singh Ruddi, Om Prakash Dhanker and Satyapal Jain.
Dhumal, 63, has been elected to the Lok Sabha from the Hamirpur parliamentary seat three times in 1989, 1991 and 2007. On his first election to the state assembly in 1998, he became chief minister of BJP-HVC coalition government that completed its term in 2003.
He was again elected to the Vidhan Sabha in 2003 and did resign his seat to contest the Lok Sabha election earlier in the year.
BJP, before the election campaign had announced Dhumal as the partyâ€™s chief ministerial candidate and he did go onto win the Bamsan seat with a record 26,007 votes.
The BJP won an absolute majority by winning 41 of the 68 seats for the first time in the hill state at the poll count that concluded on 28th December.