Dharamshala: Surprising friends and adversaries, chief minister Virbhadra Singh on Thursday declared Dharamshala as the second capital of Himachal Pradesh.
Camping at Dharamshala for his annual winter sojourn, the chief minister made this declaration after news appeared in some sections of the media which had reported that the state government was considering declaring Dharamshala as the winter capital of the state for two months in a year.
Making the announcement public Virbhadra said, “Dharamshala has a significance and history of its own, and it fully deserves to be the second capital of the state.”
The chief minister further added, “Dharamshala held a special importance and value for people living in the lower areas of Himachal Pradesh, which include Kangra, Chamba, Hamirpur and Una districts. The people of these areas would now be benefitted of this special status and they would not have to travel to longer distance for their works.”
He said that Dharamshala was already marked prominently not only in the map of India but of the world due to its significance owing to many reasons including religious, natural and adventurous tourism.
“Dharamshala is home to His Holiness the Dalai Lama, which attracts many people from across the world. Prominent personalities of the world visited this hilly town throughout the year,” he said.
On the occasion the chief minister recalled that a full-fledged winter session of HP Vidhan Sabha was held for the first time outside Shimla in December, 2005. A complete Vidhan Sabha Bhawan was already working at Tapovan, for which the foundation was laid in his last tenure in 2006. This town had already been a witness of holding 12 Winter Sessions of HP Vidhan Sabha so for.
“It was I, who introduced the practice of annual winter sojourn way back in 1994 to hear the people out and see for himself the progress of development works being carried out in the area,” he said.
After Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh would be the second state in India to have two state capitals.
The chief minister, however, made no diclosure as to how, when and which offices would be shifted from Shimla to Dharamshala.
Arvind Sharma is an award winning bi-lingual journalist with more than 20 years of experience.
He has worked with Divya Himachal, Dainik Jagran, Dainik Bhasker, Vir Partap, Ajit and PTI.
In 2010, he was conferred the Himachal Kesri journalism award. He reports on the Tibetan Government in Exile, politics, sports, tourism and other topics. He lives in Dharamshala.