Mukherjee’s five-day Shimla holiday ends

Shimla, June 15 (IANS) President Pranab Mukherjee on Monday left for New Delhi after a five-day sojourn here in the Himachal Pradesh capital.

He flew to Delhi from the Kalyani helipad near Chharabra, 15 km from here.

Mukherjee was seen off at the helipad by Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, his cabinet colleagues and top army and civil officials.

Mukherjee stayed at The Retreat, the president’s summer holiday resort, just 15 km uphill from Shimla where Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s daughter Priyanka Vadra’s cottage is being constructed.

He spent most of her time in the sprawling Rashtrapati Niwas, as rains almost every day lashed this hill station.

He cancelled his proposed visit to nearby tourist destinations, including Kufri, so that tourists are not harassed during the peak summer season, an official said.

The president hosted a tea on Sunday evening where the chief minister, his colleagues, high court judges and top government functionaries were present.

“Shimla is known for unpredictable rains,” he said in an informal interaction with journalists on the occasion.

This was Mukherjee’s second visit to the hill state after becoming president. He had earlier come here on a three-day visit in May 2013.

At that time, he came here to address the state assembly’s golden jubilee celebrations.

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