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New Delhi, April 26 – Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and a host of other leaders condoled the demise of former Punjab Chief Minister and Shiromani Akali Dal chief Parkash Singh Badal on Tuesday.
Badal died late on Tuesday evening. He was 95.
Condoling his death, Prime Minister 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.”
The Prime Minister added that Badal’s passing away was a personal loss for him.
“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,” he said further.
Home Minister Amit Shah tweeted: “The passing away of veteran leader, Shri Parkash Singh Badal Sahab is deeply saddening. His career spanning several decades was dedicated to the welfare of the poor. His demise is an irreparable loss to Indian politics. My heartfelt condolences are with his family and followers.”
Shah added that he was fortunate to meet Parkash Singh Badal on several occasions.
“His unparalleled political experience was very helpful in public life and always a delight to listen to. The memories of those meetings will always remain with me,” he said.
Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge said: “Parkash Singh Badal ji was a veteran of Indian politics. Although we differed in our ideologies, he earned immense respect among the people of Punjab for his simplicity and loyalty to his cadre, as he served multiple terms as chief minister. Our deepest condolences to his family.”
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi also expressed sadness at Badal’s death.
Describing him as a tall leader of Punjab, Gandhi expressed his condolences to his son Sukhbir Badal and his family.
Badal’s cremation Thursday, Punjab declares holiday
The Punjab government has announced a public holiday on Thursday in honour of Shiromani Akali Dal patriarch and five-time Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, who passed away on April 25.
Badal breathed his last at a private hospital near here at the age of 95. He had been suffering from various health issues for some time.
Since the cremation of Badal is to be performed on Thursday, the state government has announced a public holiday for the day, officials told IANS.
The last rites will be held at his ancestral village Badal in Muktsar district. A sea of people, comprising political leaders cutting across party lines and dignitaries, are expected to attend the cremation.
Badal’s mortal remains will be placed for paying last respects at the party office in Chandigarh from 10 a.m. to noon on Wednesday. Later it will be transported to his ancestral village by road.
The Bharatiya Janata Party-led central government has declared national mourning on Wednesday and Thursday following Badal’s demise.
Chief Minister Bhagwant Singh Mann mourned the loss and said the state had lost a towering figure. Prime Minister Narendra Modi remembered his decades-long association with Badal and said his death was a personal loss to him.
Badal also served as a Union Minister in the late 1970s.