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Govt announces two-day state mourning on 26, 27 April

New Delhi: In view of the death of former Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal, the Centre on Tuesday night announced two days of state mourning on April 26 and 27 across India.

“The Government of India has decided that there will be state mourning for two days on 26 and 27 April throughout the country, following the demise of former Punjab CM and Shiromani Akali Dal patron Parkash Singh Badal,” Ministry of Home Affairs said in a statement.

“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,” the statement added.

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Badal, a five-time former Punjab chief minister known for his winsome humility and strong rural roots, died on Tuesday. He was 95.

Earlier on Monday, it was reported that he was under close observation in the ICU, at Fortis Hospital, Mohali.

Badal was admitted to ICU on 21 April, following complaints of breathing difficulties, according to his party Shiromani Akali Dal.

Meanwhile. President Droupadi Murmu, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, several central ministers and chief ministers and leaders cutting across party lines condoled the demise of the former Punjab chief minister and hailed his immense contributions to the state as well as the country.

President Murmu said Badal was one of the tallest political stalwarts since independence.

“Though his exemplary career in public service was largely confined to Punjab, he was respected across the country. His demise leaves a void. My heartfelt condolences to his family and admirers,” the Rashtrapati Bhavan tweeted.

Vice President and Rajya Sabha chairperson Jagdeep Dhankhar said the passing of Badal is a great loss to Punjab and the nation.

“He will always be remembered for his exceptional leadership, vision, and unwavering dedication to the welfare of the people,” the vice president said in his condolence message.

Prime Minister Modi described Badal’s demise as a “personal loss” and said he was a colossal figure of Indian politics who contributed greatly to the nation.

“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,” Modi said in a tweet.

Badal worked tirelessly for the progress of Punjab and anchored the state through critical times, the prime minister said.

“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,” Modi said.

“I recall our numerous conversations, in which his wisdom was always clearly seen. Condolences to his family and countless admirers,” he said.

In a series of tweets, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said Badal played a significant role in Punjab’s politics for decades and made several noteworthy contributions towards the welfare of farmers and other weaker sections of society.

“Badal Sahab was the son of soil who remained connected to his roots, all his life. I fondly remember my interactions with him on several issues. I’m deeply anguished by his demise. His demise is a personal loss to me. My heartfelt condolences to his bereaved family and supporters,” Singh said.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah said the passing away of the veteran leader 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…. I was fortunate to meet Parkash Singh Badal Sahab 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.

The governors of Punjab and Haryana and the chief ministers of several states, including Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, condoled the demise of Badal.

Punjab Governor Banwarilal Purohit described Badal as a towering figure in Indian politics and a leader who served the people of Punjab with distinction.

“Badal was a man of integrity, wisdom, and compassion, who devoted his life to the service of our people. He was a true son of Punjab, who worked tirelessly to promote the interests of our state and its people,” Purohit said.

Expressing his condolences, Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann said, “He was an able administrator and above all a fine human being with qualities of head and heart.” Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar who went to the hospital in Mohali offered his condolences to Badal’s son Sukhbir Singh Badal.

Speaking to the media outside the hospital, Khattar said former CM Badal was a leader with a foresight.

“He always raised his voice for farmers, the poor and the downtrodden. He served people and today an era has come to an end with his demise,” Khattar said.

AAP national convenor and Delhi Chief Minister tweeted in Hindi, “Received very sad information about the demise of former chief minister of Punjab Sardar Parkash Singh Badal. May Waheguru ji give his soul a place in his holy feet.” “My condolences are with Sukhbir Badal ji and his entire family,” he added.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath also expressed grief at the demise of Badal.

Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot said, “His demise brings down the curtain on an accomplished political career, which served people of Punjab with tireless dedication.” Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president J P Nadda said Badal was a towering political figure whose contributions to the development of Punjab are immense and will always be remembered.

“Deeply saddened to hear about the passing away of Former CM of Punjab Prakash Singh Badal Ji. He was a towering political figure whose contributions to the development of Punjab are immense & will always be remembered. My heartfelt condolences to his family & supporters. Om Shanti,” Nadda tweeted.

The Congress said his demise marked the end of an era in Indian politics.

Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge said in a tweet, “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 CM.” Condoling Badal’s passing, former Congress president Rahul Gandhi said the news was saddening.

Former Punjab chief ministers Amarinder Singh and Charanjit Singh Channi also paid tributes to Badal.

Amarinder Singh said it was not only a loss to the family but to the entire state and the country as a whole.

He said Badal was a towering leader who commanded respect across states and party lines. His absence will be felt for a long time and the void created will be difficult to fill, he said.

Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav tweeted in Hindi, “The death of senior politician and former chief minister of Punjab Parkash Singh Badal is very sad. May God give peace to the departed soul and strength to the bereaved family. Heartfelt condolence!”

Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati, in a tweet in Hindi, said, “Extremely saddened by the news of the demise of Shiromani Akali Dal’s patron and former chief minister of Punjab Parkash Singh Badal, who had traveled a long respected political journey. My deepest condolences to his family and all followers.”

Former Union Law Minister Ashwani Kumar described Badal as one of Punjab’s tallest political leaders since independence and said his demise will leave a void in the political firmament of the state.

With inputs from agencies

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