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5-time Punjab CM Badal passes away, Centre declares state mourning

Parkash Singh Badal of Shiromani Akali Dal and five-time former chief minister passed away on Tuesday night

Shiromani Akali Dal patriarch and five-time former chief minister Parkash Singh Badal, 95, passed away on Tuesday night at Fortis Hospital in Mohali on the outskirts of Chandigarh.

“As a mark of respect to the departed dignitary, the Government of India has decided that there will be State Mourning for two days on 26th and 27th April, 2023 throughout India.

On the days of mourning, the National Flag will be flown at half-mast on all buildings where the National Flag is flown regularly and there will be no official entertainment on these two days.

Despite appropriate medical management S Parkash Singh Badal succumbed to his illness. Fortis Hospital Mohali deeply condoles the death of S Parkash Singh Badal,” a statement from the hospital said.

The former chief minister was admitted to Fortis Hospital a week ago as he was facing a breathing problem.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has expressed deep sorrow on the passing away of the former Chief Minister of Punjab.

In a tweet thread the Prime Minister said:

“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.

Shri Parkash Singh Badal’s passing away is a personal loss for me. I have interacted closely with him for many decades and learnt so much from him. I recall our numerous conversations, in which his wisdom was always clearly seen. Condolences to his family and countless admirers.”

Badal became Chief Minister at 43 was the youngest ever to hold top office in Punjab.

In a political career stretching over seven decades, he lost only two elections, the latest in the 2022 Punjab assembly polls when both the Akali Dal an Congress were routed and AAP stormed into power.

Badal went to jail during the Emergency declared by then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and also courted arrest during Operation Bluestar in June 1984 when the Army had entered the Golden Temple complex at Amritsar to flush out militants.

The Akali Dal was part of the BJP-led alliance at the Centre but his party broke off ties with the BJP over the farmers’ agitation against the Centre’s new agricultural laws in 2020. Parkash Singh Badal returned his Padma Vibhushan award in support of the protesting farmers who form the support base of the Akali Dal.