Dalai Lama congratulates Himachal CM Sukhwinder Singh

Dharamsala, Dec 11 (IANS) Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama on Sunday wrote to Sukhwinder Singh Sukhu to congratulate him on being sworn in as the Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh, following his party’s success in the recent elections to the state Assembly.

“India has been my home for more than 62 years now. I have been happy to reside most of that time here in Dharamsala, Himachal Pradesh. Consequently, I deeply appreciate the friendship and hospitality that the people from all walks of life in Himachal Pradesh have shown me and my fellow Tibetans all these years.

“Like other places in the state, Dharamsala has grown and developed tremendously since I first arrived in McLeodganj in May 1960.

“I am confident that the people of Himachal Pradesh will continue to prosper, especially the less privileged members of society. I wish you every success in fulfilling the hopes and aspirations of the people of the state,” the Dalai Lama said.

Risen from the ranks with no political dynasty, but wide organisational experience, four-time Congress legislator Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu, 58, who throughout his political career was not on the same page with the party’s tallest leader Virbhadra Singh, took oath of office on Sunday as the 15th Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh amidst huge crowd.

Four-time legislator Mukesh Agnihotri, 60, took the oath of office as the Deputy Chief Minister at a ceremony that lasted less than 10 minutes.