Congress stalwart Virbhadra Singh took oath as the Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh at the historic Ridge Maidan of Shimla at 10.45 am today. Governor Urmila Singh administered the oath of office and secrecy to him. He was sworn-in as Himachal Chief Minister for a record sixth time.

Along with Singh, nine other Congress MLAs senior leader Vidya Stokes (Shimla District), Kaul Singh Thakur (Mandi District), GS Bali (Kangra District), Sujan Singh Pathania (Kangra District), Thakur Singh Bharmauri (Chamba District), Mukesh Agnihotri (Una District), Sudhir Sharma (Kangra District), Prakash Chowdhary (Mandi District) and Dhani Ram Shandil (Solan District) took oaths as ministers. However, their ministries have not been announced yet.

As expected Kangra district gets lion’s share in ministerial berth with three names figure in this list, but absence of Brij Bihari Lal Butail’s name from the list raises doubt of factionalism in the new Govt. Mandi district has been given two representation in the house, whereas Solan, Una and Chamba has lone ministers in the list. Missing names of the strong aspirants for ministries include Rajesh Dharmani, MLA from Ghumawin segment of Bilaspur district, Karan Singh, Banjar MLA of Kullu district, Anil Sharma, Mandi segment, three times MLA Rakesh Kalia from Gagret segment of Una district.

It is learned that ministries will be announced soon and two more names can be inducted in the list as well.

Birendar Singh General Secretary All India Congress Committee (AICC) and in-charge Himachal affairs and Shri Anees Ahmed, Secretary AICC and other senior congress leaders were also present on the occasion. Maheshwar Singh, President Himachal Lokhit Party (HLP) was also present at the occasion