Taking A dig at the Congress for its “hue and cry” on the Himachal government’s decision to give “state guest” stature to cricketer and former Indian team captain M S Dhoni, currently in the town for a commercial shoot, Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur Wednesday asked the Oppostition to “think big”.
“I am pained to read the reports in some newspapers and an unwarranted criticism by the Congress leaders, especially PCC president Sukhwinder Sukhu, about giving state guest status to Dhoni. Sukhu ji think big and open up your horizon. If that’s the level of thinking how will we promote tourism. After all, Dhoni is an international figure. He doesn’t belong to any political party. Can’t we extend him a simple courtesy on his visit to the state,” asked Thakur.
Thakur clarified that though Dhoni will be Shimla till August 31 for a commercial shoot, he was given the stature of a state guest to facilitate police to handle his personal security.
“This was important in view of his celebrity status. The other expenditure on his stay, local transport and arrival/return is being borne by himself.”
Sukhu reacted to his remarks asserting that he did not oppose Dhoni being the state guest, but raised the issue of framing norms for all the sports figures and others. “There was also issue of recovering fee from the company which was shooting at the Ridge.”
Thakur replied, “I am sure due process has been followed in facilitating him (Dhoni) as the state guest. The government will looks into the issue of framing the norms.”