- Virbhadra Singh, the Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh, has in a major political decision announced that Dharamsala town in the Kangra district will now be the second capital of Himachal Pradesh.
- It is around 250 Km away from the state capital of Shimla.
About Dharamsala (Read in Hindi)
- It is situated in the snow-capped Dhauladhar Range.
- It was formerly known as Bhagsu.
- It is famous the world over as the abode of Dalai Lama and attracts people from across the world.
- The headquarters of the Central Tibetan Administration (the Tibetan government in exile) are in Dharamsala.
- It has a Vidhan Sabha building.
- 12 Winter Sessions of the assembly have been held here so far since 2005.
- It was also selected as one among the 100 Indian cities to be developed as a SMART city under the Smart Cities Mission.
Benefit of the Announcement
- People will not have to travel all the way to Shimla for their work.
Criticism of the Move
- The state is poll-bound and the move has been criticised by the opposition as an election gimmick to woo the voters.
- Reason: Kangra is the largest district in the state with 15 of 68 assembly seats.
- The state is already cash-strapped by holding few days of the winter session of the state assembly in Dharamshala.
- The new status would put additional pressure on the state exchequer.
- No clarity has been given on how the offices shall shift from Shimla to Dharamshala in winters.
Not the First time
- Jammu & Kashmir is the only other state to have two capitals: Srinagar (Summer Capital) and Jammu (Winter Capital).