Gurdas Singh Badal, a former MP and the younger brother of Akali stalwart Parkash Singh Badal, has died at the age of 90. Gurdas Badal breathed his last at a private hospital in Mohali around midnight last night. He is survived by his son and a daughter.
He had been unwell following his wife's death in March and died due to age-related ailments. He was the father of Punjab Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal.
"It is with great sorrow that I inform about the demise of my father S.Gurdas Singh Badal. He passed away last night at Fortis Hospital, Mohali. He was 90. His health had started deteriorating after my mother's death in March, & he was on life support system for past few days," Manpreet Badal tweeted.
He urged people to refrain from attending the funeral ceremony because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The last rites were performed at Badal, the ancestral village of Gurdas Badal in Muktsar district.
Former Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal paid last respects to his younger brother before Gurdas was consigned to the flames.
"I am speechless today. It's a loss that no language has words to describe. Never felt lonelier in my life. Hard to even think that he won't be by my side now. My thoughts go to Manpreet and other children," Parkash Singh Badal said.
Both brothers -- Parkash Singh Badal and Gurdas Singh Badal -- were often referred to as 'Pash te Dass di jodi'. Parkash Badal was known as 'Pash' while Gurdas as 'Dass'.
Gurdas had even unsuccessfully contested against his elder brother Parkash Singh Badal from Lambi seat in 2012 assembly elections after Manpreet Badal parted ways with Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and floated another political outfit People's Party of Punjab.
The personal relationship between Parkash Badal and Gurdas Badal, however, remained unaffected.
Gurdas Badal had been a member of the legislative council from 1967 till 1969. He became a Member of Parliament in 1971.
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh condoled the death of Gurdas Badal.
SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal described the death of Gurdas Badal as a "huge loss" to the family.
"Profoundly pained at the passing away of my chacha ji S.GurdasSinghBadal ji. It's a huge loss to our family, especially to my father S.ParkashSinghBadal ji. This void will never be filled," Sukhbir Badal tweeted.
The cremation was attended by Sukhbir Badal, his wife and union minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal, cabinet ministers Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa, Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, Vijay Inder Singla, Akali leaders Bikram Singh Majithia, Daljit Singh Cheema, among others.