Virbhadra’s 75th birthday is a royal celebration (Lead)

June 23rd, 2009 - 5:57 pm ICT by IANS  

Shimla, June 23 (IANS) Congress senior leader and Steel Minister Virbhadra Singh’s 75th birthday was celebrated with special prayers, dancing and the distribution of sweets across Himachal Pradesh Tuesday.
Since early morning, a large number of party activists and well-wishers started pouring into his private residence, Holly Lodge, located in Jakhu hills here.

Amid cheers from party members, who had gathered in large numbers, Singh said: “I want to thank you for the love bestowed by you all. We (the party) are going to work harder to live up to your expectations.

“This morning we held a special ‘puja’. It was completely a private affair. I will spend my entire day with my supporters,” he told IANS when asked about his birthday celebrations.

Octogenarian Sudha Negi, who came to greet Singh, said: “I have come to greet our CM (chief minister).” When she was told that Singh is no longer the CM, she replied: “For us, he is always the CM of this state.”

The union minister Monday offered prayers at the famous Bhima Kali temple in Sarahan in Shimla district.

The five-time former chief minister belongs to the erstwhile royal family of Bushehr state. He is popularly known as ‘Raja Saab’.

During the parliamentary elections, Congress only managed one of the four seats in Himachal Pradesh with Singh winning the Mandi seat by a margin of 13,000 votes.

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