After battling for life for 12 days, Surinder Kaur Badal, 72, wife of Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal, died at PGI, Chandigarh on Tuesday. She was suffering from throat cancer.
Brought to PGI on May 12, she initially underwent treatment in a private VIP room. When her condition deteriorated, she was shifted to the intensive care unit of Nehru Hospital, where she remained for about 10 days and died around 2pm.
She will be cremated at Badal village in Muktsar district on Wednesday. In an official release, PGI stated that Surinder Kaur died of natural causes after a prolonged illness.
She had been under the care of a panel of doctors headed by Dr Sanjay Jain of PGI's department of internal medicine. Earlier, she had undergone treatment in the US.
Her son, deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, was in tears when the body was moved out of the hospital. Parkash Singh Badal and his daughter-in-law, Bathinda MP Harsimrat Kaur Badal, were also present, along with Punjab food and supplies minister Adesh Pratap Singh Kairon, the Badals' son-in-law.
As the news of the death spread, supporters of the Shiromani Akali Dal began gathering at the hospital. Soon, the main road of the institute, besides the Nehru Hospital, was choked with vehicles.
The Badals had stayed in the PGI during Surinder Kaur's hospitalisation.
Even former finance minister Manpreet Badal, who parted ways with the Shiromani Akali Dal last year, had visited PGI twice with his father Gurdas Badal and wife Vinu Badal to inquire about her well-being.