It was a historical moment in many ways. First time the oath-taking ceremony was held at the historic Ridge in Shimla. In the presence of former deputy Prime Minister Shri L.K. Advani and other dignitaries including three Chief Ministers, Bharatiya Janata Party'smass leader Prof. Prem Kumar Dhumal was administered the oath of the office of Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh by Shri V.S. Kokje, Governor of Himachal Pradesh. It was also the first time when the BJP came into power with a thumping majority without any coalition in state assembly elections. Thousands of people from every corner of this hill state, despite severe cold wave and bad weather, gathered to see their beloved leader as Chief Minister second time. People from the far-flung and tribal areas, attired in their traditional dresses, also expressed their happiness by dancing and raising the slogan of ?Jai Sri Ram?.
On this occasion, Smt. Vasundhara Raje, Maj. Gen. (Retd.) B.C. Khanduri and Shri Prakash Singh Badal, Chief Ministers of Rajasthan, Uttarakhand and Punjab, respectively were among the distinguished guests. Senior BJP leaders including Shri Shanta Kumar, Shri M.A. Naqvi, Shri Satya Pal Jain and Shri Rajiv Pratap Rudi were among those who witnessed the ceremony.
It is an old saying that well begun is half done. After taking the oath, Prof Dhumal declared that the election manifesto of BJP has been adopted as the policy document of his government and he immediately started the implementation of the same. In his first decision, the CM increased the wages of daily labourers from Rs.75 to Rs.100 per day. It was the first time in the history of Himachal Pradesh that the wages were hiked by 33 per cent. Not only this, his second order was to increase social security pension of widows, old people and disabled from Rs. 200 to Rs. 300 per month. He also removed victimisation of employees and officers who were targeted during the Congress regime due to their political thinking. On January 1, Prof. Dhumal paid a visit to two institutions named Udaan and Abhi of children with mental retardation and announced a total grant of Rs. 14 Lakh to them.
Prof. Dhumal said that he is committed to implement the manifesto in its letter and sprit and the overall development of the poor and downtrodden would be his first priority. It shows the direction in which his government is going to function.