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13th HP Assembly Session begins in Dharamshala 

Statesman News Service | Dharamshala |

The 13th Himachal Pradesh Assembly Session began on Tuesday at Dharamshala, with the oath of the members.

Amongst others, the Assembly Session witnessed 23 new members  taking oath of office and secrecy which was administered by protem Speaker Ramesh Dhawala.

The most interesting was that for the first time in the history of the state, the six-time Chief Minister and nine-time Member Legislative Assembly Virbhadra Singh (83-year-old is the senior most) and his first time legislator son Vikramaditiya Singh (28-year-old, the youngest) took oath as the member of the House in the same session.

The election of Speaker will be held on Wednesday and Deputy Speaker on Friday.

The elections to the 68 state Assembly constituencies were held last November 9. The BJP defeated Congress and won 44 seats, while Congress secured 21 seats, one seat Communist Party of India and independents won two seats.

Bindal is unanimous choice for Speaker’s chair

Stage is set for the unanimous election of five-time Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA and former minister from Sirmaur, Rajeev Bindal, 62, as the Speaker of the 13th Himachal Pradesh Assembly.

The Opposition Congress, which has a strength of 21 MLAs, too, has extended support to Bindal.

Secretary Vidhan Sabha informed that four nomination papers in all have been filed for Speaker’s candidature, and all the four are for Rajeev Bindal.

He said the first nomination paper was filed by Chief Minister, Jai Ram Thakur, which was seconded by Education minister, Suresh Bhardwaj.

The second nomination paper was filed by the Congress Legislature Party leader, Mukesh Agnihotri, which was seconded by former CM, Virbhadra Singh.

The other two nomination papers for Bindal’s candidature were filed by IPH minister, Mahender Singh Thakur and Health minister, Vipin Parmar.

The Speaker’s election is listed in the Assembly session on Wednesday.

Bindal, who will don the coveted Speaker’s chair, two days ahead of his birthday on 12 January, is known for his organising skills and administrative capacities. He was health and family welfare minister in the Dhumal government from 2007 to 2012 and is credited with major policy changes in the health sector for common people.

Bindal has a strong Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) background.

He represented Solan Assembly seat thrice and had to shift to Nahan in Sirmaur district in 2012 when Solan was reserved.

He has registered two consecutive wins in Nahan in 2012 and 2017.

Bindal would be the second Speaker from Sirmaur, after Congress leader, Gangu Ram Musafir, who represented Pachhad Assembly segment.