Former Himachal Pradesh chief minister and senior Congress leader Virbhadra Singh passed away on Thursday, Dr Janak Raj Pakhretia, the medical superintendent of Indira Gandhi Medical College and Hospital (IGMC) in Shimla told news agency. He was 87.
Dr Janak said that the Congress leader breathed his last at 3.40am. Himachal Pradesh chief minister Jai Ram Thakur and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Jagat Prakash Nadda expressed their condolences on Singh’s demise, a BJP spokesperson said on Thursday.
Virbhadra Singh was being treated at the IGMC since April 23. On Monday night, the condition of the Congress leader deteriorated after he suffered a cardiac arrest. Singh was shifted to the intensive care unit (ICU) of the hospital and was on ventilator support.
Singh tested positive for the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) twice in two months – on April 12 and June 11.
In April, he was taken to Max Hospital in Mohali. Singh was discharged on April 23 but on his arrival in Shimla, he developed breathing difficulty and was admitted to IGMC.
Singh, a nine-time MLA and five-time member of Parliament, was Himachal Pradesh’s chief minister for six terms – 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. He represented Arki constituency in Solan district in Himachal Pradesh assembly.
Singh’s wife Pratibha Singh and son Vikramaditya Singh are also politicians. Pratibha is former MP, while Vikramaditya is MLA from Shimla rural.