President Kovind arrives in Shimla on four-day visit to HP

Shimla: President Ram Nath Kovind arrived in Shimla on Thursday for a four-day visit to Himachal Pradesh.

Governor Rajendra Vishwanath Arlekar, Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur and other dignitaries welcomed him at the Annadale Helipad here.

Kovind will address a special session of the state assembly on Friday, and on Saturday, he will attend the valedictory ceremony of the Indian Audit and Accounts Service at the National Academy of Audit and Accounts, Shimla, as the chief guest, an official said.

Kovind will be staying at the Cecil hotel in Chaura Maidan here instead of The Retreat, the President’s residence at Chharabra on the outskirts of Shimla, where he normally stays during his visit to the state.

The President will be staying at the hotel as four staff members of The Retreat tested positive for COVID-19 on Saturday, the official added.

All those who come in close contact with the President will have to carry a COVID-19 RT-PCR negative report even if they have been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus, he said.

The President will address the special session of the state assembly on Friday at 11 am to mark the golden jubilee of Himachal Pradesh’s statehood.

Kovind will be the third President to address the Himachal Pradesh assembly after APJ Abdul Kalam in 2003 and Pranab Mukherjee in 2013, Speaker Vipin Singh Parmar said.

Apart from all sitting MLAs, former legislators, including ex-chief ministers Shanta Kumar and Prem Kumar Dhumal, have been invited to attend the special session, he added.

Ninety-three former MLAs, including Kumar and Dhumal, have given their consent to attend the session, the speaker said.

Five MPs from the state and seven former parliamentarians will also attend, he added.

On Friday evening, the President will attend a cultural programme and a banquet hosted by the governor, the state official added.

On September 19, he will leave for Delhi around 11.15 am.

Shimla Deputy Commissioner-cum-District Magistrate Aditya Negi has imposed restrictions on traffic movement from Kennedy Chowk to Boileauganj via Chaura Maidan during the President’s stay from Thursday to Sunday.

Issuing the order on Tuesday under section 115 of the Motor Vehicles Act, Negi stated that vehicles of local residents of the area would be allowed on production of residence certificate.

Vehicles of officials deployed in connection with the President’s visit and emergency vehicles are exempted.


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