( Mandi shivratri begins by a Shobha Yatra)

The weeklong Shivratri festival of Mandi commenced with a colourful Shobha Yatra from Madho Rai temple to Paddal ground on Saturday.

Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu, the Chief Guest in the opening ceremony participated in the Shobha Yatra along with hundreds of deities carried by a large number of devotees on their shoulders and palanquins. The marching contingents of the Police, the Home Guards and dancing devotees were the main attraction of the Shobha Yatra.

Earlier, the CM accompanied by his wife Kamlesh Thakur paid obeisance in the temple of Madho Rai, the principal deity of the festival.

( CM paying obeisance in Madho Rai temple)

Addressing a gathering at Paddal Ground, after formally inaugurating the Shivratri festival, the CM announced to increase the nazarana of the bajantris (drummers) by ten percent.

The CM said, “The people of Himachal have strong belief in gods, goddesses and local deities and our government is committed to the welfare of Dev Samaj.”

Commenting on the recent political developments in the state after cross voting in Rajya Sabha election and disqualification of six Congress rebel MLAs from the membership of HP Vidhan Sabha, he quipped,” The BJP is taking the rebel MLAs from one place to another like a shepherd and questioned the motive of BJP in shifting six rebels and three Independent MLAs to Dehradun in a chartered plane and from there to a seven star hotel in Rishikesh?”

Sukhvinder Sukhu said, “I come from an ordinary farmer’s family and my father was a state government employee; I have risen to the post of the CM by launching struggles for the rights of the people, certain people are trying to oust me with money power but I am sure people would teach them a lesson.”

He said, “The Congress government has a safe majority in the state and will complete the five year term as we are committed to work with utmost dedication for people.”

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