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'Have lost a father figure': PM Modi pays moving tribute to former Punjab CM Parkash Singh Badal

Prime Minister Modi on Wednesday went to the Shiromani Akali Dal office in Chandigarh and paid his last respects to SAD patron Badal. Expressing grief over the demise of Akali patriarch, PM Modi said in a blog on his website said that he had lost a father figure, who had guided him for decades.

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"I have lost a father figure," Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Friday while paying glowing tribute to five-time Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal and recalled the special relationship that he shared with the Akali stalwart. The 95-year-old Punjab politician breathed his last at Fortis Hospital in Mohali on Tuesday. 

Prime Minister Modi on Wednesday went to the Shiromani Akali Dal office in Chandigarh and paid his last respects to SAD patron Badal. Expressing grief over the demise of Akali patriarch, PM Modi said in a blog on his website said that he had lost a father figure, who had guided him for decades.

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"On the evening of April 25, when I received the news of Sardar Parkash Singh Badal ji's demise, I was filled with immense sadness. In his passing away, I have lost a father figure, someone who guided me for decades. In more ways than one, he shaped India's and Punjab's politics, and that can be described as unparalleled," he said.

"Badal Sahab was a big leader is widely accepted. But, more importantly, he was a big-hearted human being. Being a big leader is easier but being a big-hearted person requires a lot more. People across Punjab say -- there was something very different about Badal Sahab! ('Badal Sahab ki baat alag thi')," read the blog.

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Talking about his interaction with Badal in the 1990s when he (PM Modi) was involved in party work in Northern India, the PM writes, "I got to closely interact with Badal Sahab in the 1990s when I was involved in party work in North India. Badal Sahab's reputation preceded him -- he was a political stalwart who had been Punjab's youngest Chief Minister, a Union Cabinet Minister and someone who held sway over the hearts of crores of Punjabis across the world. I, on the other hand, was an ordinary karyakarta. Yet, true to his nature, he never let this create a gap between us. He was filled with warmth and kindness. These were traits that remained with him till his last breath. Everyone who interacted closely with Badal Sahab would recall his wit and sense of humour.""

The PM said Badal was among the "bravest soldiers for the restoration of democracy during the dark days of the Emergency."

PM Modi said the void left by Badal Sahab's demise will be tough to fill.

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