Himachal CM opens weeklong Shivratri Mahotsav in Mandi

Mandi, March 9 (IANS) The weeklong Shivratri Mahotsav began here on Saturday with Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu formally announcing the opening of the grand event from the historic Paddal Ground here.

Earlier, the Chief Minister offered his prayers at the temple of the main deity, Shri Raj Madhav Rai, and participated in the traditional Shobha Yatra ‘Jaleb’ that started from the temple.

Thousands of devotees dressed in traditional attires carried the palanquins of local deities to the Paddal ground. The Chief Minister also participated in the turban ceremony.

Addressing the gathering at Paddal, the Chief Minister announced a 10 per cent hike in the ‘Nazarana’ or honorarium of deities, and 10 per cent increase in the honorarium of the ‘Bajantris’.

He said the people of Himachal have a strong belief in god and local deities, adding that the government was blessed to work for the benefit of Dev Samaj.

CM Sukhu also said that the BJP is driving the six disqualified Congress MLAs from one place to another like a shepherd.

He questioned the BJP’s motives behind shifting these MLAs and three Independent MLAs to Dehradun in a chartered plane and arranging for their stay at a seven-star hotel in Rishikesh.

“These MLAs were already resting under BJP’s strict watch at a luxurious five-star hotel in Panchkula before they were shifted,” he said.

The CM added that these MLAs have defied the trust of the people of their respective constituencies and that of the party by not listening to the ‘call of conscience’, and rather selling their souls for money.

He also said the state government has a safe majority in the House and would complete its full five-year tenure successfully.

“Our government is working with utmost dedication for the service of the people. Our fight is for democracy and we will safeguard the democratic process. We won’t let the BJP’s anti-democratic plans succeed,” he added.

The Chief Minister also inaugurated an exhibition organised by various departments, boards, and corporations at Paddal Ground, and released a souvenir published by the fair committee on the occasion of Shivratri Mahotsav.




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