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India Mourns Passing of Punjabi Leader, Remembered by PM Modi as 'Remarkable Statesman'

© Photo : Twitter/ @narendramodiPrime Minister Narendra Modi with one of India's biggest Punjabi leaders, Parkash Singh Badal
Prime Minister Narendra Modi with one of India's biggest Punjabi leaders, Parkash Singh Badal  - Sputnik India, 1920, 26.04.2023
Parkash Singh Badal embarked on his political career as head of Badal, Punjab in 1947. He won his first assembly election in 1957 at the age of 30.
A day after one of India's most predominant Punjabi leaders, Parkash Singh Badal had passed away Tuesday night, the Government of India declared a two-day national mourning as a mark of respect.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will reach Chandigarh on Wednesday to pay his last respects to the Shiromani Akali Dal party's patron.
During his decades-long political journey, Badal, the Shiromani Akali Dal's (SAD) patriarch, served as Punjab State Chief five times.
To mourn the Punjab leader's demise, the federal government has announced that from 26-27 April, the national flag will fly at half-mast on all government buildings where it is flown regularly. In addition, there will be no official entertainment events during this time period.
The 95-year-old was admitted to Fortis Hospital in Mohali a week ago after he complained of uneasiness while breathing. He died at a private hospital in Mohali at 8 p.m. (IST) on Tuesday.
“Despite appropriate medical management S Parkash Singh Badal succumbed to his illness. Fortis Hospital Mohali deeply condoles the death of S Parkash Singh Badal,” the hospital statement said.

PM Modi, Rahul Gandhi & Others Offer Condolences

Prime Minister Modi, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge, former Congress parliamentarian Rahul Gandhi and leaders from other political parties have expressed their condolences over the veteran leader's passing.

In his condolence message, PM Modi described Badal as a “colossal figure of Indian politics, and a remarkable statesman”. Modi said that he is “extremely saddened by the passing away of Parkash Singh Badal”.

© Photo : Twitter/ @narendramodiPM Modi's Twitter
PM Modi's Twitter - Sputnik India, 1920, 26.04.2023
PM Modi's Twitter
Meanwhile, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh termed the veteran leader's death a “personal loss”, calling Badal “the son of soil” and adding that he “fondly remembers his interactions with Badal on several issues”.

In a tweet in Hindi, Rahul Gandhi said: “The news of the demise of Sardar Parkash Singh Badal, former State Chief of Punjab and former President of Shiromani Akali Dal, is sad. He was a stalwart politician of India and Punjab. I express my deepest condolences to all his bereaved family members and supporters including Mr. Sukhbir Singh Badal.”

Badal's Political Journey

Badal's first term as state chief was from March 1970 to June 1971 while his second term was from June 1977 to February 1980.
His third, fourth and fifth terms were from February 1997 to February 2002, from 2007-2012 and from 2012-2017, respectively.
Badal also served as Union Minister for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare from March 1977 to June 1977 in Morarji Desai-led government.
He lost Assembly election twice in his over 75-year political career: once in 1967 and the second time in 2022.
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