Dalai Lama says personally greatful to Virbhadra for warm friendship; Capt Amarinder remembers him as his elder brother : The Tribune India

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Dalai Lama says personally greatful to Virbhadra for warm friendship; Capt Amarinder remembers him as his elder brother



Tribune Web Desk
Chandigarh, July 8

Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama on Thursday condoled the demise of Congress veteran and six-time Himachal Pradesh chief minister Virbhadra Singh, saying he was personally grateful for the warm friendship he showed to him.

In a letter to his widow, Pratibha Singh, the Dalai Lama wrote: "Dedicating himself to the service of others, Virbhadra Singh led a long and meaningful life. I admired the way he listened to people's needs with deep affection and compassion.

"I am personally grateful for the warm friendship he showed me over the many years we knew each other.

"Historically there have long been close ties between the people of the erstwhile princely state of Bushahr, to which 'Raja Sahib' belonged, and their neighbours in western Tibet.

"Here in Himachal Pradesh, Shri Virbhadra Singh, our longest serving Chief Minister, will be sorely missed." His Holiness concluded his letter, "With my prayers."

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur, BJP president Jagat Prakash Nadda, Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi have expressed their condolences on the demise of veteran Congress leader Virbhadra Singh.

Condoling the death of veteran Congress leader, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he played a pivotal role in the state and served its people.

Himachal Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur said Virbhadra had a towering personality and he would be remembered by the people of the state for his contribution. He offered his condolences to Virbhadra’s family at his residence. He said it was under the dynamic leadership of Virbhadra that Himachal marched on the path of development.

“What was admirable about him was that he did not mince words and was candid in expressing his opinion even it annoyed the Congress high command. His contribution to the development of the state will always be remembered. We will try to take forward the journey of development that he took the state on. Despite being on opposite side of the political spectrum, he enjoyed cordial relations with everyone across party lines," Thakur said.

Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh remembered him as his "elder brother". 

Rahul Gandhi said, "Virbhadra Singh ji was a stalwart in the true sense."

President Ram Nath Kovind said Virbhadra's political career was marked by his commitment to serving the people.

Singh breathed his last after a prolonged illness at Indira Gandhi Medical College (IGMC) here at 3.40 am on Thursday, IGMC senior medical superintendent Dr Janak Raj said.


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