Punjab’s new agriculture minister Gurmeet Singh Khudian, is the giant-slayer who had defeated state’s former five-time Chief Minister and Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) patron late Parkash Singh Badal in his last election.
He was with the Congress for nearly 17 years before switching over to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) months before the 2022 sssembly polls.
Khudian (60), who has also been given animal husbandry, dairying and food processing departments, defeated the 11- time MLA Badal in the latter’s home constituency Lambi in 2022 Punjab Assembly elections by a margin of more than 11,000 votes.
His father, late Jagdev Singh Khudian, was an associate of the Badal who later joined the SAD (Simranjit Singh Mann). Khudian senior was elected to the Lok Sabha from Faridkot constituency in 1989 as SAD (Mann) candidate.
However, he went missing under mysterious circumstances after being elected to the lower house of the Parliament. His body was found from the Rajasthan Feeder Canal six days later on 3 January 1989.
An agriculturist by profession, the Lambi legislator is a matriculate. He owns over eight acres of land and an old car in his name as per his election affidavit.
Gurmeet Khudian was associated with the Indian National Congress from 2004 and was also the covering candidate for Captain Amarinder Singh during the 2017 Punjab Legislative Assembly elections when the former Chief Minister unsuccessfully contested the poll against Badal.
Gurmeet Khudian was president of District Congress Committee, Muktsar for five years. After feeling ignored by the Congress Party, he quit the party and joined the Aam Aadmi Party in July, 2021 which declared him the party candidate Lambi against Badal.
After defeating Badal on his home turf Lambi constituency, Khudian had said there can’t be a bigger achievement than defeating a five-time CM and Shiromani Akali Dal patron.