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Prakash Singh Badal

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Prakash Singh Badal

For the Army officer of same first name, see Parkash Singh.
Parkash Singh Badal
Parkash Singh Badal during Sankalp Rally in Pathankot
8th Chief Minister of Punjab
In office
1970–1971
Preceded by Gurnam Singh
Succeeded by President's rule
In office
1977–1980
Preceded by President's rule
Succeeded by President's rule
In office
1997–2002
Preceded by Rajinder Kaur Bhattal
Succeeded by Amarinder Singh
Incumbent
Assumed office
March 1, 2007
Preceded by Amarinder Singh
Personal details
Born (1927-12-08) December 8, 1927 (age 86)
Abul Khurana, Punjab, British India
Nationality Indian
Political party Shiromani Akali Dal
Other political
affiliations
National Democratic Alliance
Spouse(s) Surinder Kaur (1959–2011)
Children Sukhbir Singh Badal
Preneet Kaur
Residence Chandigarh, India
Profession Politician
Religion Sikh

Parkash Singh Badal is the 8th and present Chief Minister of Punjab, India, serving since 2007.[1] He previously held office in 1970–71, 1977–80 and 1997–2002. He is also the patron of Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), a Sikh-centered regional political party based in Punjab. He was the president of the party from 1995 till 2008, when he was replaced by his son Sukhbir Singh Badal.[2][3] As the patron of SAD he exercises a strong influence on Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee[4] and Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee, and is generally regarded as the second most powerful Sikh leader worldwide, after India's prime minister, Manmohan Singh.

Early life

Parkash Singh Badal was born on December 8, 1927 in Abul Khurana, near Malout. He belongs to the Dhillon Jat community.[5] His father's name is Raghuraj Singh and mother's name Sundri Kaur.[6]

Political career

He started his political career in 1947. He was Sarpanch of the village Badal and later Chairman of Block Samiti, Lambi before rising into Punjab politics. He was elected to Punjab Vidhan Sabha in 1957 for the first time.[7] He was re-elected in 1969 serving as Minister for Community Development, Panchayati Raj, Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries.[7] He was Leader of the Opposition in 1972, 1980 and 2002. He has been elected in Vidhan Sabha for total 10 times, 1957 and each election from 1969 till present except 1992. In 1992 he led a boycott of state elections in February 1992, by the Akalis.[8][9] He is also a former union minister in Morarji Desai government in 1977. He held the portfolio of Agriculture and Irrigation.

Chief Minister of Punjab

He has served as Punjab Chief Minister for four terms the first time in 1969 when he became the youngest Chief Minister of an Indian state. Presently he is serving his fifth term.

2007–2012 term

In 2007 Punjab State Election Shiromani Akali Dal-Bharatiya Janata Party coalition government won 67 out of 117 seats and Parkash Singh Badal was sworn as the Chief Minister for the fourth time.[10] He held 10 portfolios which include the ministries for Home, Housing & Urban Development, Excise & Taxation, Power, Personnel, General Administration, Vigilance, Employment, Legal & Legislative Affairs and NRIs Affairs.[11] Badal launched many schemes such as free ambulance service,[12] Talwandi Sabo thermal plant, etc.[13]

2012–present

In the 2012 election, Shiromani Akali Dal Bharatiya Janata Party combine won 68 seats out of 117,[14] despite a tradition of anti-incumbency in Punjab.[15] Badal again became the chief minister of Punjab on 14 March 2012 after being sworn in by the Governor of Punjab, Shivraj Patil. He is also the oldest chief minister ever, and is the only person who is both the youngest and the oldest chief minister of his state.[16] In the present government he holds portfolio of Personnel, General Administration, Power, Cooperation, Science Technology and Environment, Vigilance and Employment Generation.[17]

FDI in India

Badal opposed FDI, and sided with political ally BJP.[18]

Participation in Akali Movement

He was first detained in the Karnal jail in connection with Civil Liberties Agitation later under the Maintenance of Internal Security Act during the Indian Emergency.[7] He was President of the Akali Dal from 1996 to 2008.[19]

Corruption Case

Parkash Singh Badal along with his wife Surinder Kaur, son Sukhbir Singh and seven others were booked under various provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act in 2003. After a seven year long case all accused were acquitted by a local court in Mohali in 2010 due to the lack of incriminating evidence.[20] In 2007, 11 key witnesses retracting their statements before the Special Court set up in Ropar district.

Panth Rattan Award

On 11 December 2011, Badal was bestowed upon the title of Panth Rattan Fakhr-e-Qaum(literally Jewel of the religion, pride of the community) by the Akal Takht.[21] He was awarded this title at Golden Temple complex in the presence of Jathedars of all five Takhts in the form of a “siropa” (robe of honour), a sword and a silver plaque with inscription of the citation of Panth Rattan Fakhr-e-Qaum. [22] Badal was awarded this title for his service towards the Sikh Panth by creating many memorials pertaining to Sikhism such as Virasat-e-Khalsa, besides being imprisoned for long time and having faced atrocities during various Akali movements.

Many political and radical Sikh organizations such as Dal Khalsa, Khalra Mission Organization, Punjab Human Rights Organization, Khalsa Panchayat and Niarye Khalsa Organization. Former SGPC secretary general Manjit Singh Calcutta argued that this award is given posthumously.[23] In response, Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh cited the example of Master Tara Singh, who was given this award during his lifetime.[21] Dal Khalsa leader Kanwar Pal Singh termed it sycophancy, as Badal indirectly controls SGPC.[24]

Personal life

In 1959, he married Surinder Kaur. The couple have two children, Sukhbir Singh Badal and Parneet Kaur who is married to Adesh Pratap Singh Kairon. Surinder Kaur wife died in 2011 after a long illness due to cancer.[25]

References

Preceded by
Amarinder Singh
Chief Minister of Punjab
1 March 2007 – present
Succeeded by
incumbent

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