Not taking over reins of state leadership: Anurag

Pratibha Chauhan

Tribune News Service

Shimla, August 20

The emergence of Anurag Thakur, a four-time MP from Hamirpur and his proximity to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah, as a powerful minister was more than evident keeping in view the kind of turnout of both party leaders and workers during his five-day Jan Ashirwad Yatra which commenced yesterday.

Thakur arrived to a tumultuous welcome on his first visit to his home state after his elevation in the Modi regime here yesterday. "I am overwhelmed and touched at the love and blessings showered on me. This was by far more than my expectations," an emotional Thakur said.

Wants HP to get global attention

I want to link our art and culture to tourism and employment generation so that Himachal attracts global attention and becomes a favourite world class destination. — Anurag Thakur, Union Minister

Even as he brushed aside speculation of his taking over the reins of the state leadership, his exalted position, both in the government and in the BJP organisation, said it all. "I have tried to perform to the best of my capability in whichever responsibility was entrusted to me, be it as a Lok Sabha MP, Minister of State for Finance or now as a Cabinet minister," he said.

Thakur, who is son of two-time former Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal, has risen on the political horizon of the state with a sizeable following not only among party legislators but also among the rank and file of the party.

Being assigned the Information and Broadcasting Ministry in itself is a big challenge and responsibility for him as the important portfolio has been held earlier by eminent politicians. "I am happy with the present responsibility given to me and neither do I dwell in the past nor future but strive to perform to make a difference," he said.

Thakur also remarked that when it comes to protecting the interest of the state and ensuring its oversell development, leaders must rise above political considerations and speak in unison.

Thakur refrained from making any comments on the Congress but said he hoped that the party would choose its president by 2022.

He said in the 75th year of independence he has taken a resolve to showcase Himachali art and crafts at the global level. "I want to link our art and culture to tourism and employment generation so that Himachal attracts global attention and becomes a favourite world class destination," he remarked.

He added that he will try his level best to revive the traditional handicrafts like Chamba rumaal, Kangra miniature painting, Kullu and Kinnauri shawls and Himachali folklore, which is a repository of our rich tradition, culture and performing arts. "Shimla has a glorious past where it remained the summer capital of the country during the British rule. I want that lost glory to be restored so that the state is known internationally," he remarked.

Thakur said the setting up of a cricket stadium at Dharamsala had given international publicity to the town. "Statistics reveal that more than five lakh people come to Dharamsala to see the picturesque stadium in the backdrop of the majestic Dhauladhars," he said.

Courtesy: Tribune News Service

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