BJP National President Jagat Prakash Nadda paid his last respects to senior Congress leader and former Himachal Chief Minister Raja Virbhadra Singh, who passed away on Thursday. Joined by several other political leaders, JP Nadda laid a wreath on the mortal remains of Virbhadra Singh at the historic Ridge Maidan in Shimla and offered his condolences to the family.
The BJP chief also paid tributes on behalf of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who was could not make it to the "antim darshan". The 87-year-old veteran Congress leader breathed his last after prolonged illness at Shimla's Indira Gandhi Medical College (IGMC) at 3.40 am on Thursday.
Virbhadra Singh's body was placed at Ridge Maidan for the public to pay their last respects on Friday morning. It was later kept at the state Congress office from 11.40 am to 1 pm. The remains were then taken to Rampur by road to reach Padam Palace at 6 pm. On Saturday, the body will be kept at Padam Palace from 8 am to 2 pm before the funeral.
A delegation of Congress leaders will represent party president Sonia Gandhi at his cremation on Saturday, Congress general secretary and chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said. The delegation will comprise Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel and Congress treasurer Pawan Kumar Bansal.
The Himachal Pradesh government on Thursday decided to observe a three-day state mourning as a mark of respect to late former chief minister Virbhadra Singh, an official spokesperson said.
The longest-serving and fourth Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh, Virbhadra Singh retained the position of Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister from 2012 to 2017 before being replaced by the current Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur. The nine-time MLA and five-time member of Parliament, Singh served as the chief minister for 6 terms.