On the occasion of 97th birth anniversary of former Prime Minister and Bharat Ratan Atal Behari Vajpayee, Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur unveiled statue of the former Prime Minister at Mall Road, Manali in Kullu district today.Later, the Chief Minister addressed a public meeting at Prini, the village of former Prime Minister Bharat Ratan Atal Behari Vajpayee and said that the people of Kullu district in particular and people of the State in general were fortunate that Atal Behari Vajpayee had special love and benevolence for the State and its people. He said that despite of his busy schedule as Prime Minister of India, Atal Behari Vajpayee visited Prini every year. He said that for few days the whole Government used to function from this small village. He said that due to the special benevolence of the Prime Minister, the State got liberal assistance from the Centre.Jai Ram Thakur said that even the political opponents of Atal Behari Vajpayee, would come to listen to his speeches and loved his art of oratory. He said that Atal Tunnel was the vision of the former Prime Minister which has virtually transformed the economy of the tribal district Lahaul Spiti and which was strategically very important. He said that this vision of the former Prime Minister was converted into reality by Prime Minister Narendra Modi when he dedicated this tunnel to the nation on 3rd October, 2020, which was completed by spending Rs. 3500 crore.
Chief Minister said that this tunnel has opened a new vista of development in Lahaul and Spiti district. He said that the day was celebrated as ‘Sushan Divas’ as a mark of respect to former Prime Minister. He said that several schemes of the State Government have been named after the Atal Behari Vajpayee as mark of respect to former Prime Minister. He said that the State Government would provide all possible help to further promote the Atal Gyan Kendra scheme as this would be a befitting tribute to the former Prime Minister. He also recited a few lines from poems of Atal Behari Vajpayee. Jai Ram Thakur said that the present State Government was completing four years of its present term on 27th of this month and Prime Minister Narendra Modi was gracing the occasion by addressing a massive gathering at historic Paddal Ground, Mandi. He also urged the people to attend the mega event as the Prime Minister would be inaugurating and laying foundation stones of projects worth Rs. 11,281 crore to the people of the State. Jai Ram Thakur also paid floral tributes to Bharat Ratan Atal Behari Vajpayee, by garlanding the portrait of the former Prime Minister. Chief Minister announced Rs 20 lakh for construction of community centre at Prini village, Rs 10 lakh for construction of Janjghar in Prini.
He also announced rupees two lakh for local Yuvak Mandal for purchase of cricket and volley ball kits from his discretionary fund.Education Minister Govind Singh Thakur while welcoming the Chief Minister to his home constituency said that the people of the State were fortunate that they have special benevolence of the late Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee. He said that even as Prime Minister of the country, Atal Behari Vajpayee regular visited Prini and several poems were written at Manali by him. He said that the statue of former Prime Minister of Rs. 44 lakh was inaugurated by the Chief Minister was indeed a befitting tribute to the former Prime Minister. He also detailed various developmental demands of the area. Pradhan, Prini Panchayat, Kalpana Acharya welcomed the Chief Minister and other dignitaries present on the occasion. MLA Banjar Surender Shourie, Vice Chairman HPMC Ram Singh, former Member of Parliament Maheshwar Singh, Vice President BJP Dhaneshwari Thakur, Deputy Commissioner Kullu Ashutosh Garg, SP Kullu Gurdev Sharma were also present on the occasion among others.