The monsoon session of the Himachal Pradesh Assembly began on Monday with members walking across party lines, glowing tributes to congressional veteran and former Prime Minister Virbhadra Singh. The case was adjourned the day after members paid tribute to six-time former CM Singh, BJP chief whip Narinder Bragta and former MPs Mohan Lal, Ram Singh and Amar Singh Chauhan, all of whom have died since the last session of the assembly.
The house gathered at Prime Minister Jai Ram Thakur expressed grief over the departure of Arki MLA Virbhadra Singh, Jubbal-Kotkhai MLA Bragta and the three former legislators.
Recalling Virbhadra Singh’s contribution to the state, Thakur said everyone should learn from his patience and the development model he adopted. Thakur said he was an MLA when Virbhadra Singh was prime minister and that the latter always gave him love and affection. CM said he was like a family member of Virbhadra Singh.
The audience at his funeral showed that he was loved by everyone and everyone, the prime minister said. Opposition leader Mukesh Agnihotri said a statue of Virbhadra Singh should be installed at Ridge Maidan in Shimla as a sign of respect for his exemplary services to the hilly state.
Virbhadra Singh’s son and Shimla Rural MLA Vikramaditya said I saw him as a statesman, as a politician. Recalling Virbhadra Singh’s first meeting with the late Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, Vikramaditya said Nehru had brought his father into politics by giving him a congressional ticket from Mahasu in 1962. He was the only politician in the country who had a chance to work with all prime ministers – from Nehru to the current Narendra Modi.
Virbhadra Singh worked for the public and to promote Hindu religion and played a crucial role in the renovation of the Tara Devi and Hatu temples, he added. Therefore, all organizations, including RSS and VHP, came forward to mean condolences on his death, he added.
Vice-President Hans Raj said he had great respect and esteem for Virbhadra Singh, a nine-time Member of Parliament. CPI (M) MLA Rakesh Singha said Virbhadra Singh was “an institution in itself and pursued politics on his terms.
Asha Kumari, Rakesh Pathania, Ram Lal Thakur, Dhani Ram Shandil, Kamlesh Kumari, Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu, Bikram Jariyal, Jagat Singh Negi, Balbir Verma, Harshvardhan Chauhan and Jeet Ram Katwal also paid tribute to the outgoing leaders. The President adjourned Parliament after referring obituaries to the outgoing leaders.
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