Chandigarh: Former Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal on Wednesday pitched for a united Chautala family, saying it pains him to seem them divided.
Ninety-two-year-old Badal said a befitting tribute to the late Chaudhary Devi Lal would be the Chautala brothers setting aside their differences and coming together.
The Indian National Lok Dal, a party founded by former deputy prime minister Devi Lal, split in 2018 after a family feud. Former Hisar MP Dushyant Chautala, elder son of Ajay Chautala, had launched Jannayak Janata Party last year.
Ajay Chautala is Dushyant's father and son of INLD president and former chief minister Om Prakash Chautala. Ajay's younger brother Abhay Singh Chautala, a senior INLD leader, is younger son of O P Chautala.
Badal was speaking at a prayer meeting to Sneh Lata, the wife of O P Chautala, at Sirsa on Wednesday. Sneh Lata passed away recently at a private hospital in Gurugram following an illness. She was 81.
Om Prakash Chautala, who is serving a jail term following his conviction in a teachers' recruitment scam in the state, is currently out on parole.
Speaking on the occasion, Badal, who is a family friend of the Chautalas, at the outset said, "I do not know whether I should be saying this here. It is my request to you with folded hands what is this (family feud)."
"A befitting tribute to Chaudhary Devi Lal and Mata ji (Sneh Lata) will be if the family once again gets united, even if someone has to be make a sacrifice for this. The family's honour and Devi Lal's honour is supreme. It becomes duty of family that they should be united," Badal said.
"I could not stop myself from saying this. But I have so much feelings for this family that if I find something is not right, it causes me great pain and I feel sad," he said while pitching for their unity.
Seen as a major challenger to the ruling BJP until a year ago, the INLD has been going through rough times ever since the party split. Most of the INLD's sitting legislators have also switched over to the saffron party.