Virbhadra Singh: Chief Minister (CM) of Himachal Pradesh
As of December 2012, Virbhadra Singh (born 23 June 1934) is the current Chief Minister of the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. He has previously held several national political offices and has also been Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh state on six occasions, between 1982-1990, 1993-1998, 2003-2007 and from 2013. He was the elected member of Lok Sabha in 1962, 1967, 1972, 1980 and in 2009. He is a member of the Indian National Congress.
Virbhadra Singh was born on 23 June 1934 at Sarahan, Shimla. His father was Raja Padam Singh of Rampur-Bushahr Princely State.
Singh was educated at Bishop Cotton School in Simla. Following this, he attended St. Stephen's College, Delhi, from which he obtained a BA Honours degree.
He married Pratibha Singh in 1985. He has a son and four daughters.
Singh gained a seat in the Lok Sabha — which is the lower house of the Parliament of India — in the Indian general elections of 1962. He repeated that success in the elections of 1967 and 1971. He was again elected to the Lok Sabha in 1980 and a further election to that house came in 2009, following an absence from the intervening two Lok Sabhas. His wife had served a term following her victory in the 2004 elections.
He was a member of the Indian Delegation to the General Assembly of the United Nations in 1976.
Between 1976 and 1977, Singh held the national office of Deputy Minister for Tourism and Civil Aviation in central cabinet. He was Minister of State for Industries between 1980 and 1983. From May 2009 until January 2011, he held the cabinet post of Minister for Steel. He then became cabinet minister with responsibility for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, until resigning from office in June 2012.
Aside from his role in national politics, Singh has also been elected on seven occasions to the Himachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly. The first occasion was in a by-election in October 1983, when he was returned for the Jubbal-Kotkhai constituency. He won that seat again in the 1985 elections. Thereafter, he was elected from the Rohru constituency in 1990, 1993, 1998 and 2003.
Singh became the Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh for the first time in April 1983 and held the post until March 1990. He was again appointed to the role between December 1993 and March 1998; and once more from March 2003. With reappointments within those years, this record amounted to him holding the office on five occasions.
Between 1998 and 2003, he was Leader of the Opposition in the state Assembly. He has also been president of the Himachal Pradesh Congress Committee from February 1992 to September 1994, and leader of the Congress Legislative Group. He had also been president of the State Congress Committee in 1977, 1979 and 1980. In July 2012, he quit from all key party posts at a crucial time when the State is going for elections in November 2012.The trigger for the resignations is reported to be his exclusion from the Screening Committee for short listing of candidates for the polls.
He was appointed to lead the party on the eve of the November 2012 elections and did so with success. The party then agreed to him becoming Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh for a record sixth time.
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