Chandigarh: The 87-year-old and five times Himachal Pradesh chief minister Virbhadra Singh has beaten Covid-19 twice in the last two months and is now recuperating well at a Shimla hospital.
Known for his grit and tenacity in the hill state, Singh was first tested positive for the virus in April. He recovered from the first bout in a fortnight but was infected again in June. He is now shifted back to a special-ward of the Covid care centre at the Indira Gandhi Medical Centre in Shimla.
Now all eyes are on the former scion of the erstwhile principality of Bushar on what role he would play in the state politics which he has dominated for the last four decades and more.
“The responsibility of returning power in the state in 2022 will be on the shoulders of Virbhadra Singh. There is no other leader in the Congress party who can make the party win in the elections,” says Congress State President Kuldeep Rathore.
Singh is currently an MLA from Arki assembly segment while his son represents Shimla Rural.
Singh lost his father when he was 13 years old. He entered public life at a very young age to become the fourth CM of the state in 1983. He was also won five elections to the Lok Sabha.
Speculations are rife again on whether Singh will again be at the helm of Congress’ charge against the incumbent BJP government in the next assembly elections.
“Virbhadra Singh is the senior-most leader not only of the state but also of the country and he has a different place in the politics of the state. Congress government in HP will be formed under his guidance.”; says All India Congress Committee secretary MLA Anirudh Singh.
Congress faces bypolls in one Lok Sabha and two assembly segments ahead of the 2022 assembly elections. The party’s strength will be tested in Mandi Lok Sabha and the assembly seat lying vacant in Kangra and Shimla district. The outcome in these bypolls may set the template for the bigger battle ahead.