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.
देवभूमि हिमाचल के 6 बार मुख्यमंत्री रहे हिमाचल के वरिष्ठ नेता आदरणीय वीरभद्र सिंह जी के निधन का समाचार हम सबके के लिए बेहद दुःख देने वाला है।— Jairam Thakur (@jairamthakurbjp) July 8, 2021
हिमाचल के लिए यह एक अपूर्णीय क्षति है,जिसकी भरपाई कभी नहीं होगी।
हिमाचल के विकास में उनका योगदान अनुकरणीय है,जिसे कभी भुलाया नहीं जाएगा। pic.twitter.com/MLyNvBSnpx
Shri Virbhadra Singh Ji had a long political career, with rich administrative and legislative experience. He played a pivotal role in Himachal Pradesh and served the people of the state. Saddened by his demise. Condolences to his family and supporters. Om Shanti.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) July 8, 2021
Deeply saddened to hear of the passing away of former Himachal CM Raja Virbhadra Singh Ji. An able administrator and a gentleman who was loved by the people, he was not just an elder brother but also a mentor to many to us. May God grant his soul eternal peace. pic.twitter.com/MyFknfZZjL— Capt.Amarinder Singh (@capt_amarinder) July 8, 2021
Shocked to hear about demise of Former HP CM, Sh. Virbhadra S ji. One of the tallest leaders of State with career spanning more than 60 years, Himachal has lost one of its greatest statesman. It’s an irreparable loss to @INCIndia & nation. Condolences to @VikramadityaINC & family— Partap Singh Bajwa (@Partap_Sbajwa) July 8, 2021
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