Congress veteran Virbhadra Singh, who was in active politics for over half a century, took oath as the Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister for a record sixth and the last time on December 25, 2012.Virbhadra Singh, who was credited with reforms in the education, social, infrastructure and power sectors, had served as chief minister for over 23 years.He passed away on early Thursday at the Indira Gandhi Medical College and Hospital (IGMCH) here after a three-month long battle with post-Covid complications, doctors said. He was 87.Popularly known as 'Raja Saab', Virbhadra Singh was born in the erstwhile princely state of Bushahr on June 23, 1934.
A timeline of his political career:
1962: Elected to Lok Sabha from Mahasu.
1967: Re-elected to Lok Sabha from Mahasu.
1971: Elected to Lok Sabha from Mandi.
1976: Inducted as Union deputy minister for tourism and civil aviation.
1977: Lost Lok Sabha election from Mandi.
1980: Elected to Lok Sabha from Mandi.
1982: Made Union minister of state for industries.
1983: Appointed chief minister by replacing Ram Lal.
1985: Elected to state Assembly from Rohru; is chief minister a second time.
1990: Elected to state Assembly from Rohru.
1993: Elected to state Assembly from Rohru, appointed chief minister a third time.
1998: Elected to state Assembly from Rohru, becomes chief minister for the fourth time, but fails to prove his majority.
2003: Elected to state Assembly from Rohru, appointed chief minister for the fifth time.
2007: Elected to state Assembly, sixth time, from Rohru.
2009: Elected to Lok Sabha from Mandi, appointed Union steel minister.
2011: Appointed Union minister for micro, small and medium enterprises.
2012: Resigned as minister, elected to state Assembly from newly carved Shimla (rural) constituency.
2012 (December): Less than 24 hours before his swearing in as chief minister for the record sixth time, Virbhadra Singh got a major reprieve as a Shimla court acquitted him and his wife Pratibha Singh in a three-and-a-half-year-old corruption case.
2013: Ahead of the general elections, Virbhadra Singh again proved his mettle by ensuring that his Congress party retains the Mandi bypoll Lok Sabha seat and with a handsome margin too.
2014: The Congress lost all four Lok Sabha seats to the BJP under Virbhadra Singh's helm. The losing candidates included the chief minister's wife Pratibha Singh.
2017: The octogenarian 'Raja sahib' won for the eighth time in a state Assembly election from Arki, once the citadel of the BJP. The BJP wrested the state from the Congress, winning 44 seats in the 68-member Assembly.
2019: Under the helm of Virbhadra Singh, the Congress lost all four Lok Sabha seats with the BJP retaining them by record margins.