Chandigarh (IANS): 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 body will be placed for paying last respect 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.
Punjab 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.