Mohali: Parkash Singh Badal, a five-time former Chief Minister of Punjab and Akali Dal patriarch, died at a private hospital in Mohali yesterday. He was 95.
The former Chief Minister was admitted to Fortis Hospital in Mohali a week ago after he complained of uneasiness while breathing. The Punjab leader died at around 8 pm, Hospital Director Abhijeet Singh said.
The leader’s mortal remains will be brought to Akali Dal Office in Sector 28 today and his last rites will be held tomorrow at his ancestral village, Badal, in Muktsar district.
Parkash Singh Badal was born in Punjab’s Abul Khurana close to the Rajasthan border and studied at Lahore’s Forman Christian College.
The veteran leader climbed his way up the political ladder, serving as a Village Sarpanch, before he contested Assembly elections for the first time in 1957, when he was 30 years old, as a Congressman.
Parkash Singh Badal was the youngest Chief Minister at 43 to ever hold office in the State of Punjab.
In a career spanning over seven decades, he lost only two elections — one in 1967 and the latest in the 2022 Punjab Assembly election.
His party broke off ties with the BJP over the farmers’ agitation against the Centre new agricultural laws in 2020. Parkash Singh Badal returned his Padma Vibhushan award — the second highest civilian honour of the country that he received from the Government in 2015 — in protest against the treatment of the protesting farmers by the Central Government.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted, “Extremely saddened by the passing away of Shri Parkash Singh Badal Ji. He was a colossal figure of Indian politics, and a remarkable statesman who contributed greatly to our nation. He worked tirelessly for the progress of Punjab and anchored the state through critical times.”