Parkash Singh Badal dies: 5-time Punjab Chief Minister passes away at 95

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Parkash Singh Badal dies: 5-time Punjab Chief Minister passes away at 95 (Image: Twitter/@kharge)
Parkash Singh Badal dies: 5-time Punjab Chief Minister passes away at 95 (Image: Twitter/@kharge)

New Delhi : On Tuesday, S Parkash Singh Badal, a five-time former chief minister of Punjab and patriarch of the Akali Dal, passed away at the age of 95 at a private hospital in Mohali. The hospital released a statement expressing condolences and stating that despite receiving appropriate medical treatment, Badal had succumbed to his illness.

After complaining of breathing difficulties, the ex-chief minister was admitted to Fortis Hospital in Mohali a week prior to his passing.

Starting as a village sarpanch, Parkash Singh Badal gradually rose through the ranks of politics, eventually running for assembly elections as a member of the Congress party at the age of 30 in 1957.

When he was appointed as Chief Minister of Punjab, Badal was the youngest person to hold the position at the age of 43.

Over a period of more than seventy years, Parkash Singh Badal only experienced defeat in two elections - one in 1967 and the other in the 2022 Punjab assembly election. 

In 2020, his party terminated its alliance with the BJP due to the farmers' agitation against the Centre's new agricultural laws. In protest against the Central government's treatment of the protesting farmers, Badal renounced his Padma Vibhushan award, the second highest civilian honour awarded by the Indian government, which he had received in 2015.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid homage to the late Punjab leader, referring to him as a "remarkable statesman" and a "colossal figure of Indian politics".

"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," tweeted PM Modi, along with a picture of himself with the veteran leader.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh also condoled the demise of ex-Punjab Chief Minister on Twitter.

"Shri Prakash Singh Badal ji was a political stalwart who played a significant role in Punjab politics for many decades. In his long political and administrative career, he made several noteworthy contributions towards the welfare of farmers and other weaker sections of our society," Rajnath Singh tweeted.

Parkash Singh Badal was born in Punjab's Abul Khurana close to the Rajasthan border and studied at Lahore's Forman Christian College.