Thousands attend Surinder Badal’s cremation

May 25th, 2011 - 9:59 pm ICT by IANS  

Shivraj Patil Badal village (Punjab), May 25 (IANS) Thousands of people converged on this village in Punjab’s Muktsar district Wednesday as Surinder Kaur, the late wife of Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, was cremated here.

Akali Dal president and Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, lit his mother’s pyre as his father and scores of other people bade here a tearful adieu.

Earlier, thousands of people, braving the scorching heat, and several leaders converged on this village to pay their last respects to Surinder Kaur, who died Tuesday at the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) in Chandigarh after a prolonged battle with cancer. She was 72.

She was admitted to the PGIMER here earlier this month in a serious condition. She was earlier in the US for several months for treatment of throat cancer.

She is survived by her husband, daughter Preneet and son Sukhbir Badal.

Former Punjab finance minister Manpreet Singh Badal, a nephew of the chief minister who left the Akali Dal last October following differences with the chief minister and Sukhbir Badal, was among the close relatives who shouldered the bier to the cremation ground.

Punjab Governor Shivraj Patil, union ministers Farooq Abdullah and Sachin Pilot, Haryana Governor Jagannath Pahadia, Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal, former Haryana chief minister Om Prakash Chautala, Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee president Avtar Singh Makkar and several other prominent political and religious leaders arrived here to pay their last respects to Surinder Kaur and offer condolences to the Badal family.

Surinder Kaur remained a pillar of strength for Parkash Singh Badal through his over 50-year political career. Of this, Badal spent 17 years in jail for leading various agitations.

Born June 26, 1938, in village Chak Fateh Singh Wala in Bathinda district, she was married to Badal in 1959.

Active in social causes, she campaigned to improve the ‘langar sewa’ (community kitchen) at the Harmandir Sahib, the holiest of the Sikh shrines, popularly known as the Golden Temple, in Amritsar.

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