Prakash Singh Badal is an Indian politician and the current Chief Minister of Punjab and held this post since 2007. A member of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) he has previously served as the Chief Minister of Punjab from 1970-71, 1977-80 and from 2002 to 2007. He is currently the oldest Chief Minister in the country and has also been the youngest Chief Minister in 1970 when he took office for the first time. He was the President of SAD from 1995 to 2008 and was succeeded by his son Sukhbir Singh Badal. He is considered as the second most powerful Sikh Leader in the world after Manmohan Singh, Indias former Prime Minister. He also has a strong influence on Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee and Delhi Sikh Gurudwara Management Committee.Born on 8th December 1927 in Abul Khurana near Malout, Prakash Singh Badal blongs to Dhillon Jat clan and he completed his graduation from the Forman Christian College in Lahore, now in Pakistan. Prakash Singh Badal started his political career from ground level in 1947. He became the Sarpanh of Baadal village and later became the chairman of the Block Samiti Lambi. In 1957, he was elected to the Punjab Vidhan Sabha for the first time as a member of the Indian National Congress (INC). He later left the party over differences with the Chief Minister of Punjab and then he joined SAD. He was defeated in the 1967 State Assembly elections but was re-elected in 1969 assembly election and joined the states SAD led government. He served as Minister for Community Development, Panchayati Raj, Animal Husbandry, dairying and fisheries. A year later he was named as the Chief Minister but his term lasted for only a year. He became the Leader of Opposition in 1972 and again in 1980 and 2002. He was re-elected to every legislative assembly in Punjab from 1969 until 2012 except in 1992 when SAD boycotted the state election. Badal was imprisoned from 1975-77 after the emergency was declared by Indira Gandhi government. In the 1977 Lok Sabha elections, he was elected for Lok Sabha and served as the union minister in Prime Minister Morarji Desais government and served as the Minister of Agriculture and Irrigation. However, his tenure was only for a brief period as his party SAD insisted him to return in state politics. He returned to state politics and began his second term as Chief Minister. Badal was arrested during the period of Sikh agitation for protesting against a plan to divert river water from Punjab to neighboring Haryana state. He was also arrested for tearing the pages from the Indian Constitution during a protest event, he later apologized for his actions. In 1985 state assembly elections, he won his seat and his party SAD dominated the elections. However, his fellow party member Surjit Singh Barnala was named as the Chief Minister. During the Central Government rule in Punjab from 1987-92 and during the SAD boycotting the 1992 state assembly elections, Badal maintained a low public profile. In 1996, he was elected as the party president and the following year SAD secured the majority in the elections and he was chosen as the Chief Minister for the third time. He served for full five year term for the first time but he left the office after the 2002 assembly elections when INC won the elections. In the 2007 state elections, SAD allied itself with BJP and won the majority seats to form the government. Badal was sworn in again as the Chief Minister and he served one more full term. In the 2012 elections, the two party remained allies and again secured the majority making him the first person to serve two consecutive terms as a Chief Minister of Punjab. In 2008, he stepped down as the partys president and his son Sukhbir Singh Badal succeeded him as the party president.In 1959, he married Surinder Kaur and the couple has two children, Sukhbir Singh Badal and Parneet Kaur. Surinder Kaur died in 2011 due to cancer after a long illness. In December 2011, he was bestowed by the title of Panth Rattan Fakhr-e-Qaum (jewel of the religion, pride of the community) by the Akal Takht. However, the award was retracted by the Sikh Panth in November 2015 after the allegations of Civil Rights Violation and failiure to recognize the oppression faced by the Sikhs of Punjab. In 2015, the Government of India awarded him Padma Vibhushan, Indias second highest civil award.