Virbhadra to take oath as CM on Tuesday
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Congress veteran and state Congress chief Virbhadra Singh will take oath as chief minister of Himachal Pradesh for the sixth time on December 25 at the Ridge in Shimla. No other minister will be sworn-in along with him.
On Saturday evening, he was unanimously elected as leader of the Congress Legislative Party (CLP). Three Congress observers led by AICC general secretary Janardhan Dwivedi, Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and party's general secretary in-charge Birender Singh were present in the meeting to oversee the process for election of the leader.
A former Union minister and sitting MP, Virbhadra led the Congress to an impressive poll win with party candidates getting elected in 36 out of the 68 seats.
BJP, which lost power, could win only 26 seats.
On Sunday morning, Birender Singh met Governor Urmila Singh and handed over a letter informing her about the election of Virbhadra Singh as the CLP leader. This was followed by Governor's secretary, Anita Tegta, visiting Virbhadra's private residence Holy Lodge.
She handed him a letter appointing him as the chief minister and formally inviting him to form the government.
"Now, I can call myself a chief minister," Virbhadra said, showing the letter to the mediapersons. He added that only he will take oath on Tuesday. A three-tier cabinet with ministers, ministers of state and chief parliamentary secretaries will be formed after talks with Congress president Sonia Gandhi and senior leaders.
"All regions, young and old will get proper representation," he said, adding that he has three to four names in mind for the post of Speaker. "But I will not disclose at this stage," said Virbhadra. Later in the day, he left for Delhi to meet the party president.
The ministry formation is unlikely to be tough for Virbhadra as most of the party heavyweights like former Speaker Gangu Ram Musafir and former ministers Rangila Ram Rao, Major (retd) Vijai Singh Mankotia, Ram Lal Thakur have lost the polls.
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