Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal is not sure about his exact age, but he officially celebrated his 88th birthday on Monday by cutting five cakes during his day-long visit to parts of Muktsar.
He started the celebrations by cutting a cake brought by party workers at his native Badal village. Then he was presented a cake by SAD workers at Gidderbaha. He cut another one in the company of students at the Malwa college in Gidderbaha.
Then, he visited Mata Jaswant Kaur Memorial school at Badal village in the afternoon and cut another cake. He again had to do the honours after party workers from Gurdaspur brought another cake.
When asked to clarify about his age, Badal said, “I don’t know my exact age. People did not celebrate birthdays during those days and nobody recorded such days.”
He said his job kept him fit and his dedication to work is his hobby. He remembered the services of his wife, late Surinder Kaur, in setting up Malwa school at Gidderbaha.
Badal then visited a fish farm of a progressive farmer. Speaking on the occasion, he said the blue revolution in the state could transform the destiny of farmers.
“Due to the escalating input costs and squeezing profits, agriculture is no longer profitable. In such a scenario, pisciculture is the only ray of hope for farmers as they could supplement their income through it,” he said.
Modi, Jaitley greet Badal
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and union finance minister Arun Jaitley greeted Badal on his birthday. The PM called up Badal and wished him “a long life and many more years of service to people”.
Jaitley said Badal continued to be a role model and inspiration for all present and aspiring public figures in the country.
Senior BJP leader LK Advani also wished Badal a “long, healthy and fruitful life and decades of service to the country”.
Later, Badal said in a statement released here in the evening, “I have been deeply moved by your love and affection and will always continue to be worthy of it.”