Virbhadra Singh

Summary

Virbhadra Singh
Virbhadra Singh HP.jpg
Virbhadra Singh
4th Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh
In office
25 December 2012 – 27 December 2017
Preceded byPrem Kumar Dhumal
Succeeded byJai Ram Thakur
ConstituencyShimla Rural
In office
6 March 2003 – 30 December 2007
Preceded byPrem Kumar Dhumal
Succeeded byPrem Kumar Dhumal
ConstituencyRohru
In office
3 December 1993 – 24 March 1998
Preceded byShanta Kumar
Succeeded byPrem Kumar Dhumal
ConstituencyRohru
In office
8 April 1983 – 5 March 1990
Preceded byThakur Ram Lal
Succeeded byShanta Kumar
ConstituencyRohru
MLA, Himachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly
In office
2017–2021
Preceded byGovind Ram Sharma
Succeeded bySanjay Awasthy[1]
ConstituencyArki
Minister of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises
In office
19 January 2011 – 26 June 2012
Prime MinisterManmohan Singh
Preceded byDinsha Patel
Succeeded byVilasrao Deshmukh
Minister of Steel
In office
28 May 2009 – 18 January 2011
Prime MinisterManmohan Singh
Preceded byRam Vilas Paswan
Succeeded byBeni Prasad Verma
Minister of State for Industries
In office
September 1982 – April 1983
Prime MinisterIndira Gandhi
Minister of State for Tourism, Civil Aviation
In office
December 1976 – March 1977
Prime MinisterIndira Gandhi
Personal details
Born(1934-06-23)23 June 1934
Sarahan, Bushahr, Punjab, British India
(now in Shimla district, Himachal Pradesh, India)
Died8 July 2021(2021-07-08) (aged 87)[2][3]
Shimla, Himachal Pradesh, India
Nationality
Political partyIndian National Congress
Spouse(s)
Ratna Kumari
(m. 1954; died 1983)
(m. 1985)
Children6 (including Vikramaditya and Abhilasha)
Residence
Alma materColonel Brown Cambridge School
St. Edward's School
Bishop Cotton School
St. Stephen's College
Delhi University
SignatureVirbhadra Singh Signature
Titular Raja of Bushahr
Reign1947–2021
PredecessorPadam Singh
SuccessorVikramaditya Singh

Virbhadra Singh (23 June 1934 – 8 July 2021)[4] was an Indian politician who served 6 terms and 21 years as the 4th Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh.[5] A leader of the Indian National Congress party, he was elected 9 times as an Member of Legislative Assembly to the Himachal Pradesh Vidhan Sabha and 5 times as Member of Parliament to the Lok Sabha. Virbhadra Singh was popularly known by the honorific Raja Sahib.[6][7] Singh holds the distinction of being the longest serving Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh, holding the office from 1983 to 1990, from 1993 to 1998, from 2003 to 2007 and finally from 2012 to 2017, when he was succeeded by the BJP's Jai Ram Thakur. He was elected to the Lok Sabha in 1962, 1967, 1971, 1980 and 2009. Singh served as a Union Minister in the governments of Indira Gandhi and Manmohan Singh. At the time of his demise, he was serving as an MLA from Arki constituency.

Personal life

Virbhadra Singh was born on 23 June 1934 at Sarahan, Shimla district[8] in the royal Rajput family[9] of the erstwhile princely state of Bushahr.[10] He was the 122nd[11] titular Raja of Bushahr from 1947 until 1971, when, by the 26th Amendment to the Constitution of India, the privy purses of the princes were abolished and official recognition of their titles came to an end.[12]

Singh was educated at Colonel Brown Cambridge School, Dehradun, St. Edward's School, Shimla and Bishop Cotton School, Shimla and later obtained a BA Honours degree from St. Stephen's College, Delhi.[13]

He was married to Ratna Kumari, princess of Jubbal in May 1954.[14][15] They had four daughters including Abhilasha Kumari a former judge who served on the High Court of Gujarat from 2006 to 2018.[16] Ratna Kumari died in 1983 after prolonged sickness.

In 1985, he was married for the second time, to Pratibha Singh, princess of Keonthal.[8][17] Pratibha is currently elected to the Lok Sabha from Mandi. She had been elected thrice to the Lok Sabha from Mandi, currently after 2021 bypoll and previously for the first time in 2004 and later in bypoll in 2013.[18][19] They both had a daughter and a son. His daughter Aparajitha Singh is married to former Punjab Chief Minister Capt. Amarinder Singh's grandson.[20] His son Vikramaditya Singh is currently serving as Member of Legislative Assembly from Shimla Rural constituency.[21][22]

National politics

Singh gained a seat in the Lok Sabha—which is the lower house of the Parliament of India—in the Indian general elections of 1962.[23] He repeated that success in the elections of 1967 and 1971. He was again elected to the Lok Sabha in 1980 and a further election to that house came in 2009, following an absence from the intervening two Lok Sabhas.[17] His wife had served a term following her victory in the 2004 elections.[24]

He was a member of the Indian Delegation to the General Assembly of the United Nations in 1976.[8]

Between 1976 and 1977, Singh held the national office of Deputy Minister for Tourism and Civil Aviation in central cabinet. He was Minister of State for Industries between 1980 and 1983.[17] From May 2009 until January 2011, he held the cabinet post of Minister for Steel. He then became cabinet minister with responsibility for Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises,[17] until resigning from office in June 2012.[25]

State politics

Aside from his role in national politics, Singh had also been elected on seven occasions to the Himachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly.[17] The first occasion was in a by-election in October 1983, when he was returned for the Jubbal-Kotkhai constituency. He won that seat again in the 1985 elections. Thereafter, he was elected from the Rohru constituency in 1990, 1993, 1998, 2003 and 2007 and in 2012 from Shimla rural assembly constituency.[26]

From left to right: Rajiv Gandhi, Virbhadra Singh, Sat Mahajan (in back), Jai Bihari Lal Khachi and Sagar Chand Nayyar during Rajiv Gandhi's visit to Shimla

Singh became the Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh for the first time in April 1983 and held the post until March 1990. He was again appointed to the role between December 1993 and March 1998; and once more from March 2003. With reappointments within those years, this record amounted to him holding the office on five occasions.[17]

Between 1998 and 2003, Singh was Leader of the Opposition in the state Assembly.[17] He was president of the Himachal Pradesh Congress Committee in 1977, 1979 and 1980 and from 26 August 2012 to December 2012.[27] In July 2012, he quit all key party posts at a crucial time prior to the state elections of November 2012. It has been reported that the trigger for the resignations was his exclusion from the Screening Committee for short-listing of election candidates.[28]

Singh was appointed to lead the party on the eve of the November 2012 elections and did so with success.[29] The party then agreed to him becoming Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh for a record sixth time.[30] His party lost majority in the 2017 elections and he tendered his resignation afterwards.[31]

Social and cultural activities

Outside of politics, Singh had an involvement with various social and cultural bodies. A consequence of these interests is that he was president of the Sanskrit Sahitya Sammelan and of the Himachal Pradesh branch of the Friends of the Soviet Union.[17]

Corruption charges

On 3 August 2009, a legal case was registered against Singh and his wife by the Anti-Corruption Bureau of Himachal Pradesh. The allegations were that they had breached the Prevention of Corruption Act in 1989, when Singh was Chief Minister of the state. The Bureau alleged that it had evidence in recorded conversations between the couple and various others concerning suspect financial transactions.[32] The alleged recordings, which involved a now-dead officer of the Indian Administrative Service and several industrialists, dated from 2007 and were provided by a political opponent, Vijai Singh Mankotia.[33]

The couple were granted bail in December 2010, but in April 2011, the state government requested that this be rescinded due to allegations of witness tampering.[33] This request followed attempts by two industrialists to remove themselves from the prosecution case, claiming that the evidence was forged and incorrect.[34][35]

The Singhs have attempted to have the matter taken out of police hands and passed to the Central Bureau of Investigation, as well as seeking a stay on further trial court proceedings. In January 2012, the Himachal Pradesh High Court had refused the latest of their petitions aimed at achieving the transfer and stay. The court ordered that the examination of potential charges and evidence by a trial court should go ahead. On 26 June 2012, Singh resigned from the Union Cabinet as a consequence of corruption charges being pressed against him.[36] The couple were acquitted on the eve of Singh taking the role of Chief Minister in December 2012.[37]

CBI inquiry

In 2015 the Central Bureau of Investigation filed a case against Singh and his family for owning assets to the tune of Rs. 6.1 crore disproportionate to his known sources of income when he was the union minister between 2009 and 2011. Cases have been filed against his wife Pratibha Singh, son Vikramaditya and daughter Aparajita as well.[38][39] On Saturday, 26 September, the Central Bureau of Investigations (CBI) raided 11 properties of Virbhadra Singh to probe the charges of accumulating disproportionate assets. A case had been filed by the agency one day before the raids.[40] On 26 October 2015, the Indian Supreme Court turned down a CBI plea seeking stay against an earlier order issued by the Himachal Pradesh High Court granting protection from arrest and other relief to him and his wife in a disproportionate assets case. The SC, however, issued a notice to Singh and his wife, seeking response from Singh on the two petitions filed by the CBI.[41]

Death

Singh's health got deteriorated after he suffered from a cardiac arrest on 5 July 2021 in Indira Gandhi Medical College, Shimla.[42] He had tested positive for COVID-19 on 11 June for the second time in two months.[43][44] Virabhadra Singh died on 8 July 2021 due to multiple organ failure.[2] The Himachal Pradesh government observed a three-day state mourning as a mark of respect to him.[45] Virbhadra Singh was cremated with full state honours in Shimla's Rampur Bushahr on 10 July 2021.[46]


Gallery

References

  1. ^ "Bye election to Vidhan Sabha Trends & Result November 2021 - Himachal Pradesh - Arki". Election Commission of India. Archived from the original on 2 November 2021. Retrieved 2 November 2021.
  2. ^ a b "Former 6 times Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh passes away at 87". thehindu.com.
  3. ^ "Himachal ex-CM Virbhadra Singh passes away at 87". Times of India. 8 July 2021. Retrieved 8 July 2021.
  4. ^ Girish Suri (2006). Raja Virbhadra Singh: The Untold Story. Rampur Bushahr: Atma Ram & Sons. ISBN 978-81-902872-4-1.
  5. ^ "Virbhadra Singh". India Today.
  6. ^ Pathak, Vikas (28 October 2017). "Arki, the new sanctuary of 'Raja Sahib'". The Hindu – via www.thehindu.com.
  7. ^ "Raja Sahib who ruled hearts for 50 years loses last battle". Hindustan Times. 8 July 2021. Retrieved 8 July 2021.
  8. ^ a b c "Bio Data of Chief Minister". Archived from the original on 30 December 2012. Retrieved 27 December 2012.
  9. ^ "It's Rajput versus Rajput in Himachal polls".
  10. ^ "Virbhadra Singh dies: Rampur Bushahr mourns the passing of 'Raja sahab'". 9 July 2021.
  11. ^ Service, Tribune News. "Vikramaditya's 'raj tilak' before Raja's cremation". Tribuneindia News Service. Retrieved 10 July 2021.
  12. ^ The 26th amendment of the Indian constitution
  13. ^ "Congress veteran, six-time Himachal CM Virbhadra Singh turns 88". Hindustan Times. 24 June 2021. Retrieved 9 July 2021.
  14. ^ "Members Bioprofile". loksabhaph.nic.in.
  15. ^ Rathore, Abhinay. "Bashahr (Princely State)". Rajput Provinces of India. Retrieved 10 July 2021.
  16. ^ 7 Feb, tnn / Updated; 2018; Ist, 07:16. "Judge Abhilasha Kumari prmoted: Justice Abhilasha Kumari promoted | Ahmedabad News - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 9 July 2021.CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  17. ^ a b c d e f g h "Detailed Profile: Shri Virbhadra Singh". Government of India. Archived from the original on 14 May 2011. Retrieved 5 January 2012.
  18. ^ "Explained: The key reasons behind Pratibha Singh's victory in Mandi bypoll". The Indian Express. 2 November 2021. Retrieved 2 November 2021.
  19. ^ Service, Tribune News. "Only 3 women LS MPs since 1952". Tribuneindia News Service. Retrieved 9 July 2021.
  20. ^ "Political circles in Punjab abuzz over Capt Amarinder Singh's grand daughter's wedding". The Indian Express. 25 February 2021. Retrieved 9 July 2021.
  21. ^ The Hindu Net Desk (18 December 2017). "Himachal Pradesh Assembly election results — counting ends as BJP seals majority with 44 seats". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 9 July 2021.
  22. ^ Service, Tribune News. "Pictures: Virbhadra Singh cremated with full state honours; son Vikramaditya's 'raj tilak' done". Tribuneindia News Service. Retrieved 10 July 2021.
  23. ^ Prabhu, Chawla (30 April 1983). "Thakur Ram Lal resigns as Himachal Pradesh CM to pave the way for Virbhadra Singh". India Today. India Today. Retrieved 24 February 2021.
  24. ^ "Biographical Sketch — Member of Parliament - 14th Lok Sabha". Parliament of India. Archived from the original on 30 October 2007. Retrieved 5 March 2012.
  25. ^ "Union minister Virbhadra Singh resigns from Cabinet following graft charges". The Times of India. TNN. 26 June 2012. Archived from the original on 7 July 2013. Retrieved 26 June 2012.
  26. ^ "Virbhadra Singh: Congress leader who had special place in hearts of Himachalis". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 8 July 2021.
  27. ^ "Virbhadra Singh, Congress leader and former Himachal chief minister, dies". Business Standard India. Press Trust of India. 8 July 2021. Retrieved 8 July 2021.
  28. ^ "Virbhadra quits all party posts in a huff". 27 July 2012. Archived from the original on 27 July 2012. Retrieved 27 July 2012.
  29. ^ Sharma, Ashwani (20 December 2012). "HP polls 2012: Virbhadra Singh makes comeback with Congress win". Retrieved 25 December 2012.
  30. ^ "Virbhadra Singh sworn in as Himachal CM for a record 6th time". The Indian Express. Press Trust of India. 25 December 2012. Retrieved 25 December 2012.
  31. ^ PTI (19 December 2017). "Himachal elections: CM Virbhadra Singh resigns after Congress loses power". mint. Retrieved 9 July 2021.
  32. ^ "Virbhadra Singh summoned by court". NDTV. Press Trust of India. 23 October 2010. Retrieved 5 March 2012.
  33. ^ a b "Himachal government seeks cancellation of Virbhadra's bail". Indo-Asian News Service. 7 April 2011. Retrieved 5 March 2012.
  34. ^ Makhaik, Ravinder (10 January 2011). "Key witness in steel minister's CD case turns hostile". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 21 September 2013. Retrieved 5 March 2012.
  35. ^ "Virbhadra CD Case : Witness moves court against prosecution". Thaindian.com. Indo-Asian News Service. 4 April 2011. Retrieved 5 March 2012.
  36. ^ "Union minister Virbhadra Singh resigns from Cabinet following graft charges". The Times of India. TNN. 26 June 2012. Retrieved 26 June 2012.
  37. ^ "Himachal CM-designate Virbhadra Singh acquitted in corruption case". The Times of India. TNN. 24 December 2012. Archived from the original on 21 September 2013. Retrieved 24 December 2012.
  38. ^ "CBI registers PE against Himachal CM in graft case". The Hindu. 18 June 2015 – via www.thehindu.com.
  39. ^ "CBI to question Virbhadra, kin in graft case | India News - Times of India". The Times of India.
  40. ^ "FIR against Himachal CM Virbhadra Singh, CBI raids his houses". Hindustan Times. 26 September 2015. Retrieved 8 July 2021.
  41. ^ "SC disallows CBI plea for stay on HP High Court order; seeks Virbhadra's reply". Daily Post. DP News and Agencies. 26 October 2015. Archived from the original on 19 December 2015. Retrieved 26 October 2015.
  42. ^ An; Jul 8, Bodh / TNN / Updated; 2021; Ist, 11:36. "Virbhadra Singh Death News: Virbhadra Singh, Congress veteran and former Himachal Pradesh CM, dies aged 87 | Shimla News - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 10 July 2021.CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  43. ^ "Former Himachal Pradesh chief minister Virbhadra Singh passes away". 8 July 2021.
  44. ^ "Raja Sahib who ruled hearts for 50 years loses last battle". Hindustan Times. 8 July 2021.
  45. ^ PTI (8 July 2021). "President, PM, leaders condole demise of Virbhadra Singh". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 9 July 2021.
  46. ^ "Rampur Bushahr mourns on death of Virbhadra Singh". indianexpress.com.

External links

  • Raja Virbhadra Singh: The Untold Story
  • "Mukhyamantri" on YouTube
Lok Sabha
Preceded by
Vacant
Member of Parliament
for Shimla

1962–1967
Succeeded by
Partap Singh
Preceded by Member of Parliament
for Mandi

1971–1977
Succeeded by
Ganga Singh
Preceded by
Ganga Singh
Member of Parliament
for Mandi

1980–1984
Succeeded by
Preceded by Member of Parliament
for Mandi

2009–2013
Succeeded by
Political offices
Preceded by
Minister of State for Tourism, Civil Aviation
December 1976 – March 1977
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Minister of State for Industries
September 1982 – April 1983
Succeeded by
Preceded by Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh
8 April 1983 – 5 March 1990
Succeeded by
Preceded by Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh
3 December 1993 – 24 March 1998
Succeeded by
Preceded by Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh
6 March 2003 – 30 December 2007
Succeeded by
Preceded by Minister of Steel
28 May 2009 – 18 January 2011
Succeeded by
Preceded by Minister of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises
19 January 2011 – 26 June 2012
Succeeded by
Preceded by Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh
25 December 2012 – 27 December 2017
Succeeded by