Shimla: President Pranab Mukherjee was accorded a ceremonial reception by Governor Urmila Singh and Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh on his arrival in Shimla on Thursday on a three-day visit.

He was given a guard of honour by the Rajput Regiment at the Kalyani helipad. This is his first visit to the hill state after becoming president. Mukherjee will address the state assembly on Friday.

Official sources said Rashtrapati Bhawan has issued an advisory to the Vidhan Sabha secretariat regarding Mukherjee's visit.

"We are following the advisory not to address President Mukherjee as 'His Excellency'. Even all chairs, including Mukherjee's chair, on the dais should be of equal size and shape," assembly Speaker BB Butail said.

"It's an honour to listen to Pranab Mukherjee on the beginning of the assembly's golden jubilee year," he added.

Mukherjee will also deliver a lecture on the same day at the Indian Institute of Advanced Study (IIAS) that is housed in the century-old Viceregal Lodge and visit Himachal Pradesh University where he will deliver the convocation address.

(Agencies)

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