Former Himachal Pradesh chief minister and senior Congress leader Virbhadra Singh died in the wee hours of Thursday after a prolonged illness. He was 87.
The veteran leader breathed his last at Indira Gandhi Medical College (IGMC) at 3.40am, senior medical superintendent Indira Gandhi Medical College (IGMC) Dr Janak Raj said.
He suffered from heart attack on Monday and was critical. He was in the critical care unit of IGMC.
Virbhadra was put on ventilator under the supervision of the doctors of the cardiology department on Wednesday after he had breathing problem, he added.
The nine-time MLA and five-time MP, Singh served as Himachal Pradesh’s chief minister for six times.
Virbhadra had tested positive for COVID-19 on June 11 for the second time in two months. He had earlier tested positive for the disease on April 12.
Earlier, he was admitted to a hospital in Chandigarh after he tested positive for coronavirus on April 12. Singh had returned home in Holly Lodge on April 30 from the Chandigarh hospital after getting cured of the first infection.
However, he was admitted to IGMC within hours after reaching home, as he complained of cardiac and breathing problems. He was under treatment in the hospital ever since then.
Singh’s wife Pratibha Singh and the couple’s son Vikramaditya Singh are also politicians. Pratibha is former MP, while Vikramaditya is MLA from Shimla rural.
They had celebrated Singh’s 87th birthday at their residence at Holly Lodge in a simple manner by cutting a cake in the presence of their supporters on June 23. At that time, Virbhadra was convalescing at the IGMC.
The veteran Congress leader remained chief minister of the state for six times- from April 8, 1983 to March 5, 1990, December 3, 1993 to March 23, 1998 and from March 6, 2003 to December 29, 2007 and for the sixth time from December 25, 2012 to December 26, 2017.
Singh also remained the leader of opposition from March 1998 to March 2003.
The veteran Congress leader also served as Union deputy minister, tourism and civil aviation, minister of state for industries, union minister of steel and Union minister of micro, small & medium enterprises (MSME).
He was re-elected to the 13th Vidhan Sabha in December 2017 from Arki Assembly Constituency in Solan district.
Earlier, he was elected to the state legislative assembly in October 1983 (by-election); re-elected in 1985 from Jubbal-Kotkhai assembly constituency, in 1990, 1993, 1998, 2003 & 2007 from Rohru assembly constituency and in 2012 from Shimla rural assembly constituency.
He was also elected to third Lok Sabha in 1962; re-elected to 4th Lok Sabha in 1967 from Mahasu Constituency, 5th Lok Sabha in 1971 , 7th Lok Sabha in 1980 and 15th Lok Sabha (5th term) in May 2009 from Mandi Lok- Sabha Constituency.
The veteran leader was BA (Hons.), MA; educated at Bishop Cotton School, Shimla and St. Stephen’s College, Delhi.
Son of Late Raja Sir Padam Singh of Bushahr state, he was born on June 23, 1934 at Sarahan.
He also served as Himachal Pradesh Congress president in 1977, 1979, 1980 and from 26th August, 2012 to December 2012.