Shimla: Senior BJP leader and former Union minister Bandaru Dattatraya was sworn in as the 27thGovernor of Himachal Pradesh at a simple but impressive ceremony held at Rajbhawan here today. Justice Dharam Chand Chaudhary, Judge of Himachal Pradesh High Court administered oath of office and secrecy to him. Jai Ram Thakur, Chief Minister, his wife Vasantha were also present on the occasion.
The Governor was also given an impressive Guard of Honour. Dr Shrikant Baldi, Chief Secretary, read out the warrant of appointment. Rakesh Kanwar, Secretary to the Governor, obtained signature of the Governor on the charge certificate. Dr Rajiv Bindal, Speaker of Vidhan Sabha, former chief ministers Vir Bhadra Singh and Prof. Prem Kumar Dhumal, Suresh Bhardwaj, Education Minister, Dr Rajiv Saizal, Social Justice & Empowerment Minister, G. Kishan Reddy, Union Minister of State for Home Affairs, Chief of Staff, ARTRAC Lt. General G.S. Sangha, MLAs, Shimla Municipal Corporation Mayor Kusum Sadret, Director General of Police S.R. Mardi, Chairmen and Vice-Chairmen of various Boards and Corporations, Vice-Chancellors of Universities, senior officers of Army, police and civil services were present.
Interacting with the mediapersons later, the Governor fixed their priorities in Himachal Pradesh. “Himachal is known as the land of God and also identify as Virbhoomi. It has high traditions, rich culture and customs, which sets this mountainous region apart from others. I consider it my privilege to have a chance to work as a Governor in this Himalayan State close to the nature”, said the Governor, adding that nature has given immense beauty to Himachal and was very much discussed in South India, especially the mountains, snow and clean environment.
Dattatraya said he had a vast experience of public service as a politician and now he has to discharge responsibility of the Constitutional post. He said as a Governor, he could only help in accelerating the pace of development of the State by staying within the scope of the Constitution. The schemes implemented by the government for the poorest of the poor and the most vulnerable sections in the society could contribute to it so that the real benefits of these schemes and programs could reach the general public, he said. It would be his endeavor to take forward the pace of development in coordination with both the government and the Opposition.
Dattatraya said he would like to work on some issues, including tourism development, quality education and awareness against drug addiction in the State. He would like to contribute to the development of high-end tourism and religious tourism, he said, adding the important thing was to preserve nature here and maintain the greenery, forest, rivers. He said the literacy rate of Himachal Pradesh was very high, probably second in the country after Kerala, but he would like to add that education needs to be linked to employment. “It will be my endeavour to move towards qualitative education in higher educational institutions. Attention should also be paid to qualitative as well as moral values”, Dattatraya said.
The Governor said he had always been a person belonging to the poor, neglected, working and peasant class. It would be his endeavour that all the programs and schemes of the government related to them should be implemented in the right direction, he said, adding that there should be no place for drugs in the Devbhoomi and we would work together against the evil.