Parkash Singh Badal turns 90, son Sukhbir skips event at native village
Sukhbir Badal was busy in protests over alleged violence against party workers by Congressmen ahead of civic polls in the state.punjab Updated: Dec 09, 2017 10:12 IST
Former Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal on Friday celebrated his 91st birthday at his native village in Muktsar district, but his son and Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Badal skipped the occasion, being busy in protests over alleged violence against party workers by Congressmen ahead of civic polls in the state.
Addressing a group of party workers who brought a birthday cake for him at his native house, the SAD patriarch fondly mentioned Sukhbir’s name many a time, while asserting that the latter is following his footsteps by ‘putting party programmes above family occasions.”
Going down the memory lane, he said, “At the time of my daughter’s marriage, I was in a jail as it was the Emergency era then. I chose to skip the function and did not seek parole as per party strategy. Today on my 91st birthday, my son Sukhbir is leading party workers in their protest against the attack on our workers by the ruling party.”
He added, “The party is supreme and more important than the family.”
The nonagenarian leader, a ten-time MLA who has served as state chief minister five times, looked hale and hearty as he smilingly acknowledged greetings of well-wishers at his palatial house.
Badal’s daughter-in-law, Union minister Harsimrat Kaur, was present on the occasion. She, however, kept sitting among the womenfolk, preferring not to address the party cadres.
The SAD leader said he did not like celebrating birthday functions and was not aware of the function until Friday morning as Sukhbir and Harsimrat planned the event.
Badal also listened to holy hymns at a religious function organised by the family to mark the day at the village stadium.
Born in 1927, Badal started his political career as sarpanch of his native village in 1947. Elected as MLA on Congress ticket in 1957, he later joined the Akali Dal and became chief minister five times. He was awarded the Padma Vibhushan in 2015.
Though no longer in power, Badal is still active in politics. Known for his witty one-liners and sharp memory of people and events, he still calls on various families in his constituency.