Dharamsala (Arvind Sharma)8/7/21
The longest-serving chief minister of Himachal Pradesh who dominated the state politics for 50 years, Virbhadra Singh(23 June 1934- 8 July 2021) , who passed away early Thursday morning, leaves behind a rich legacy. An old-school politician, Singh, fondly also called Raja Sahib, used a rare combination of wit and charm to overcome every political challenge that came his way, both from within the party and outside. Condoling the death of veteran Congress leader and former Himachal Pradesh chief minister Virbhadra Singh, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Thursday that he played a pivotal role in the state and served its people.
The 87-year-old Singh died in Shimla early on Thursday after a prolonged illness.
A nine-time MLA and five-time MP, Singh served as Himachal Pradesh chief minister for six times.
Paying tributes PM Modi said, "Shri Virbhadra Singh Ji had a long political career, with rich administrative and legislative experience. He played a pivotal role in Himachal Pradesh and served the people of the state. Saddened by his demise. Condolences to his family and supporters. Om Shanti."
Many Congress leaders paid rich tributes to former Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh
Rahul Gandhi,"Shri Virbhadra Singh ji was a stalwart in the true sense. His commitment to serving the people and to the Congress party remained exemplary till the very end. My condolences to his family and friends. We will miss him.”
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh ,"Deeply saddened to hear of the passing away of former Himachal CM Raja Virbhadra Singh Ji. An able administrator and a gentleman who was loved by the people, he was not just an elder brother but also a mentor to many to us. May God grant his soul eternal peace.”
"Deeply saddened by the demise of former CM of Himachal Pradesh and senior Congress leader Sh. Virbhadra Singh ji. His contribution to the party & in serving people would always be remembered. My heartfelt condolences to his family members...may they remain strong. May his soul RIP," Rajasthan CM Gehlot Said.
Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra ,"Possessing the political stature as the giant mountains, Virbhadra Singh took Himachal Pradesh to new heights. We all have suffered an irreparable loss due to his death. May God grant him a place on his feet. My humble tributes.”
Singh contracted Covid twice, once on April 12 and then in June but managed to cover before succumbing to Covid-related complications. The six-time chief minister of Himachal Pradesh was elected to the state assembly nine times. He was also a five-time MP. Singh, who started his political innings at the age of 27 when he was elected a member of Parliament in 1962, the youngest in the third Lok Sabha, remained a staunch Congressman all his life. He had been an MP thrice, in 1967, 1971 and 1980 before he became the state chief minister.