Dhumal’s lucky chair?

By Vishal Gulati, IANS,

Shimla : Is it a lucky chair? Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal likes to sit on a particular wooden chair from the pre-Independence era that a former chief minister used steadfastly – through his four terms in office!

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The chair in Ellerslie building that houses the state secretariat was picked up by Dhumal himself from the dump yard in the secretariat.

“This was my discovery,” Dhumal, of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), said while pointing towards the chair.

It was the same chair which was used by the first chief minister of the state, Y.S. Parmar, throughout his tenure as chief minister, he said.

“When I became chief minister for the first time (in 1998), I came to know that woodwork from the pre-Independence era was dumped in the secretariat yard. When I was looking around in the yard, the chair caught my attention. On a closer look, I came across the tag that showed it was made in Lahore (Pakistan). So I got it repaired and polished,” Dhumal told IANS.

“Later, I came to know that it was the same chair that was used by Parmar throughout his four tenures as chief minister (from 1952 to 1977 barring six years from 1956 to 1963 when the assembly was dissolved),” he added.

The chair has a metal tag with the inscription, The Consolidated Woodworks CL, Lahore.

When Dhumal came to power for the second time in December 2007, he asked his personal staff to remove the revolving, cushioned chairs used by his predecessor, Virbhadra Singh and asked for the same chair to be set up, according to officials in the state secretariat.

“Dhumal believes that the wooden chair is lucky for him as he completed his full first tenure as chief minister without any controversy. He believes that like Parmar he would also continue for more terms,” an official pointed out.

(Vishal Gulati can be contacted at [email protected])