Former Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister and senior Congress leader Virbhadra Singh passed away at the age of 87 in Shimla in the early hours of Thursday.
The Himachal Pradesh government on Friday declared three-day state mourning, from July 8 to July 10, in the honour of Virbhadra Singh. There will be no official entertainment during the mourning period, an official statement said.
According to news agency PTI, Virbhadra Singh had been battling a prolonged illness. Reportedly, he breathed his last at the Indira Gandhi Medical College Hospital around 4 am.
“Former CM Virbhadra Singh ji died at the Indira Gandhi Medical College Hospital (IGMCJ) here around 4 am due to multi-organ failure,” Dr Janak Raj, senior medical superintendent of the IGMC told the agency.
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.
Mr 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.