Prakash Singh Badal is the former chief minister of Punjab. He swore into the role in 2007 and remained in power till March 2017. He had been the chief minister of the state four other times in the past. He belongs to the Shiromani Akali Dal party and was its president till 2008. Before initiating a career in politics he completed his education from Forman Christian College in Lahore. Regarded as the second most powerful Sikh worldwide, Badal started his political career in 1947 when he was elected as sarpanch of the village Badal. The first time he got elected as chief minister was in 1970. Badal has been instrumental in voicing protest against the development of the Sutlej Yamuna Link canal, in keeping with the concerns of the farmers in the state. Badal was awarded the Padma Vibhushan by the government of India in 2015.
In his interaction with media in Ludhiana, Badal appealed to the administrative officers in the state to perform their duty honestly and independently, and urged them to not succumb to any political pressure to book Akali workers in false cases.