Parkash Singh Badal, the Akali Dal patriarch, and five-time former Punjab chief minister, passed away on Tuesday at a private hospital in Mohali.
“S Parkash Singh Badal d*ed from his illness despite receiving proper medical care,” said the hospital, expressing its deepest condolences regarding S Parkash Singh Badal’s passing.
A week ago, the former chief minister went to Fortis Hospital, Mohali, because he had trouble breathing.
The veteran leader ascended his way up the political ladder, serving as a village sarpanch, before he competed in assembly elections for the first time in 1957, when he was 30 years of age, as a Congressman. In the history of Punjab, Parkash Singh Badal was the youngest Chief Minister ever to hold the position. He was 43.
Parkash Singh Badal first became chief minister in 1970, heading a coalition government that did not complete its term. He served as an MLA eleven times and as a CM from 1977 to 1980, from 1997 to 2002, from 2007 to 2012, and from 2012 to 2017. Moreover, the leader only lost two elections throughout his career, one in 1967 and the most recent, the Punjab assembly election in 2022.
Due to farmers’ agitation against the Centre’s new agricultural laws in 2020, his party broke ties with the BJP. In protest of how the Central government treated the farmers who were protesting, Parkash Singh Badal returned the Padma Vibhushan award, the country’s second-highest civilian honor received in 2015.
According to a party leader, his final rites will be performed at his home village of Badal in Lambi in Muktsar on Thursday afternoon.
In remembrance of the former chief minister, the central government announced two days of state mourning across India on April 26 and 27.
In a communication sent to all states, the Ministry of Home Affairs stated that the national flag would be flown at half-mast and that there would be no official entertainment on the days of mourning.
President Droupadi Murmu, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a number of central ministers, chief ministers, and leaders across party lines expressed condolence for his passing and praised his significant contributions to the state and the nation.