Akali patriarch Badal cremated with full state honours (watch)

Chandigarh: Akali patriarch and five-time chief minister Parkash Singh Badal was cremated with full statehonours at his ancestral village Badal in Punjab’s Muktsar district as a large number of mourners and several leaders across the political spectrum paid their tributes to the late leader on Thursday.

His son and Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal lit the pyre in presence of several senior leaders from across the country including Punjab governor Banwarilal Purohit, chief minister Bhagwant Mann, his Rajasthan counterpart Ashok Gehlot, Union minister Hardeep Singh Puri, BJP national president J P Nadda, Nationalist Congress Party leaders Sharad Pawar and Praful Patel, National Conference leader Omar Abdullah, Congress chief Amarinder Singh Raja Warring, BJP president Ashwani Sharma, former Haryana CM Bhupinder Singh Hooda and Akal Takht acting Jathedar (chief) Giani Harpreet Singh, among several others.

Floral tribute to Badal

Earlier, Sukhbir Badal led the mourners with folded hands as the mortal remains were placed in flower-decked tractor-trolley. His estranged cousin and former minister Manpreet Badal and Haryana deputy CM Dushyant Chautala, the great grandson of Badal’s close friend and former deputy prime minister Devi Lal, were among those on the trolley as it moved on the route to the cremation ground. The mortal remains of Badal were kept for the last “darshan’’ at his residence where people in large numbers queued up to pay their last respects.

Badal’s ancestral village Badal had turned into a fortress because of heavy police deployment and arrival of several dignitaries.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and several political leaders had paid floral tributes to Badal at the SAD office in Chandigarh on Wednesday.

Badal, also known as “the grand old man of Punjab politics’’ first became chief minister in 1970 though the coalition government did not complete its term. He later remained CM in 1977-1980, 1997-2002, 2007-2012 and 2012-2017.

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