Under attack from outside and inside the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), the Badal clan finally appears determined to prove a point with its decision to field party chief Sukhbir Singh Badal from the Ferozepur seat and his wife Harsimrat Kaur Badal from the Bathinda seat.
While Harsimrat was expected to be re-nominated from the Bathinda seat, Sukhbir’s nomination from Ferozepur has shown the party’s intent to regain the lost ground in the electoral politics.
Right from the by-polls for the Gurdaspur Lok Sabha constituency and Shahkot Assembly seat to polls of local bodies, the ruling Congress has won by huge margins and maintained its dominance ever since coming back to power after a decade.
Therefore, the SAD’s decision to field the two main members of the Badal family in Lok Sabha polls is a bold move considering the fact the Congress is aiming to win all 13 Lok Sabha seats in the state and its prospects have further been boosted by much division of the Opposition votes.
As the political couple will contest together for the first time, the Badals are trying to prove that they have complete control over the Akali politics.
With the ruling Congress sweeping 2017 Assembly polls and the SAD getting relegated to the third position behind Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), the Badals have been at the receiving end of attacks over incidents of sacrilege during Parkash Singh Badal regime, police firing on two anti-sacrilege protestors and all that is wrong in Punjab, including the drug menace.
While Badals have been under attack from the Congress and the AAP, the SAD has witnessed a rebellion with a section of leaders even forming a breakaway group, SAD (Taksali), and some senior leaders calling for Sukhbir’s ouster as the SAD president in order to free the Akali Dal from the control of the Badal clan.
By fielding the couple together for the first time, the Badals, therefore intend to prove that they have complete control over the Akali politics and the family remains central to the party’s future prospects.
Thanking the party for reposing faith in him as the party candidate from Ferozepur constituency for the forthcoming Lok Sabha poll, the SAD president Sukhbir Badal said, “With the love and support of the people of Ferozepur constituency, and blessings of the Almighty, I will work day and night to live up to this faith and serve the people of my constituency with missionary zeal.”