July 9, 2021 11:41:10 am
Written by Om Prakash Thakur
Leaders across party lines condoled the passing of former chief minister Virbhadra Singh on Thursday.
Singh’s body has been kept at his personal residence at Holly Lodge in Jakhu, Shimla.
Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur visited Holly Lodge, where he met the family. He expressed his condolences to Pratibha Singh, the former CM’s wife, and his son, MLA from Shimla Rural, Vikramaditya Singh.
Thakur said that Singh’s contribution towards the development of the state were unprecedented, adding that the latter devoted his entire life to the upliftment of every section of society, with special focus on weaker and vulnerable sections. He said that the void created by Virbhadra Singh’s death would be difficult to fill.
Former chief minister and arch political rival of Virbhadra Singh, Prem Kumar Dhumal, too expressed grief and said he was a great fighter, who faced a lot of struggles in life. “He faced the challenges, whether they were personal, political or social, bravely and never accepted defeat,” said Dhumal, adding that an era has ended in Himachal.
Another BJP Leader and Virbhadra Singh’s political opponent from Rouru constituency, Khushi Ram Balnahta, paid homage to former CM. “He was very popular among the masses. He was born in a royal family but lived among common people, which is why people of the state loved him. He was a great leader and good administrator. I contested four times against him from Rohru but he never indulged in mean politics,” he said.
CPIM leader and MLA Rakesh Singha said, “The death of such a leader is big loss to the Himachal and his contribution will be remembered always.”
Former Union Minister Anand Sharma said the Congress had lost a very popular leader who contributed for six decades towards the betterment of the people of Himachal.
On Friday, the body will be kept at Ridge Maidan for the public for ‘antim darshan’ from 9 am to 11.30 am, spokesperson Yashwant Chhajta said.
Subsequently, it will be taken to state Congress office Rajiv Bhawan on Cart Road in Shimla where it will be kept from 11.40 am to 1 pm, he said.
Thereafter, the body will be taken to Rampur by road at 1 pm and it is scheduled to reach Padam Palace Rampur at 6 pm, the family spokesperson said.
On Saturday, the body will be kept at Padam Palace Rampur for ‘antim darshan’ from 8 am to 2 pm before the funeral at 3 pm, he added.