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Virbhadra takes over as Chief Minister for 6th time

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Shimla: Virbhadra Singh took oath as the sixth Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh amid a carnival-like atmosphere at the Ridge maidan on December 25 morning, cheered on by a sea of supporters flaunting the traditional green-striped cap.

The political veteran reached the venue with his wife Pratibha Singh and other family members along with thousands of supporters dancing to traditional folk music, blowing of trumpets, beating of drums and chanting of slogans. Four display screens were put up in the town to facilitate people to view the ceremony.

The people had begun streaming in as early as 5:00 a.m. to grab a place to view the oath-taking. By the time he took oath as Prime Minister for the record sixth time at 10.43 a.m., the venue was packed to capacity.

Governor Urmila Singh administered the oath of office to Virbhadra Singh and nine Cabinet Ministers — Vidya Stokes, Kaul Singh Thakur, G. S. Bali, Sujan Singh Pathania, Thakur Singh Bharmouri, Mukesh Agnihotri, Sudhir Sharma, Prakash Chaudhary and Dhani Ram Shandil.

Later, Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh administered the oath of office and secrecy to three chief parliamentary secretaries — Neeraj Bharti, Rajesh Dharmani, and Vinay Kumar.— at state secretariat.