Rampur/Shimla: Today marked the end of one of the finest politician in the history of the state as former six-time Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh was cremated with state honours in Rampur Bushahr.
The last rites were performed by his son and Shimla (Rural) MLA Vikramaditya Singh.
Earlier, following the tradition of the royal family, his son Vikramaditya Singh was crowned as the new King of Bushahr. Singh has now become the 123rd King of Bushahr. The ceremony was performed in Padam Palace around 8:00 am in the presence of his wife. The ceremony was strictly private and no one was allowed to witness it. However, family members had claimed that Vikramaditya Singh was reluctant to be crowned as the king as he said that India is a democracy and such title does not exist anymore, but for the sake of the family tradition, the ceremony was held.
Virbhadra Singh was himself crowned as the king at the age of 13 after the death of his father Padam Singh in 1947.
On Friday, his body was taken to Padam Palace in Rampur Bushahr from Shimla via road. Thousands of people from Rampur, Shimla, Mandi and other areas reached Rampur to catch the last glimpse of Singh. His body was kept at the Darbar Hall of Padam Palace. A hand-crafted silver throne – which was used by his father Padam Singh. People paid their last respects to him and he was cremated on Saturday afternoon.
Virbhadra Singh who was dealing with health issues passed away during the wee hours of Thursday. On Friday his body was brought to The Ridge where thousands of people along with BJP National President JP Nadda and Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur. Later his body was taken to Rajiv Bhawan, Shimla.
On behalf of All India Congress Committee (AICC) President Sonia Gandhi, a special four-member delegation, including Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel, AICC treasurer Pawan Bansal, All India Congress Working Committee member Anand Sharma and in-charge of state affairs Rajiv Shukla paid homage to Singh and attended his funeral on behalf of the Congress party.
State Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur, Urban Development Minister Suresh Bhardwaj, Forest Minister Rakesh Pathania, AICC secretary-in-charge Sanjay Dutt, State Congress President Kuldeep Singh Rathore, Leader of Opposition Mukesh Agnihotri, various Congress and BJP leaders and thousands of party workers and others were also present there and paid their respects to Singh.