President Ram Nath Kovind will be on a four-day visit to Himachal Pradesh from Thursday and will stay at a private hotel here instead of The Retreat at Chharabra, where he normally stays.
He will stay at Cecil hotel at Chaura Maidan as four staff members of The Retreat — the President's residence at Chharabra on the outskirts of Shimla had tested positive for COVID-19 on Saturday.
“The President would address the special session of the State Assembly on Friday at 11 am to mark the golden jubilee of Himachal Pradesh's statehood,” said Assembly Speaker Vipin Singh Parmar while talking to the mediapersons here.
Kovind will be the third President to address the Himachal Assembly. Then Presidents APJ Abdul Kalam and Pranab Mukherjee had addressed the State Assembly in 2003 and 2013, respectively, Parmar said.
All those who will come in close contact with the President will have to carry a COVID-19 RT-PCR negative report even if they have been fully vaccinated against the Coronavirus, he added. Besides sitting MLAs, all the former MLAs including former Chief Ministers Shanta Kumar and Prem Kumar Dhumal have been invited to attend the special session on Thursday.
Ninety-three former MLAs, including Kumar and Dhumal, have given their consent to attend the special session. MPs and former MPs from the hill state will also attend the session.
Parmar said that a group photo of the President with the current and former legislators will also be taken as a memory at the Assembly.
According to the schedule, the President will reach Annadale Helipad on September 16 at 12 noon via Chandigarh from Palam Airport, Delhi. Subsequently, he will reach Cecil hotel at Chaura Maidan here at around 12.25 pm.
On September 17, the President will address the State Assembly while in the evening, he will attend a cultural programme at 7.30 pm and banquet at 8 pm hosted by the state Governor. On September 18, the President will be chief guest at the valedictory ceremony of the Indian Audit and Accounts Service (IAAS Officer Trainees of 2018 and 2019 Batches) at the National Academy of Audit and Accounts at Shimla from 11 am to 12 noon.
The President will reach Annadale helipad at 11.15 am to leave for Palam airport in Delhi via Chandigarh on September 19.