The clouds in the sky were thick and Badals on the ground confident. In the face of 10 years of anti-incumbency and other factors weighing his party down, chief minister Parkash Singh Badal, on the voting day, showed no sign of doubt that SAD-BJP combine won’t form the government for the third time.
“The situation is the same as it was in 2012 when the media and pundits had predicted Congress as the winner. We were confident then and so are we now. The development we have done is unmatched,” said senior Badal after exercising his franchise. “I am still the youngest of all politicians and will keep contesting till my last breath.”
The chief minister, his son and deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal and daughter-in-law Harsimrat Kaur Badal came together to cast their vote at the Government Primary School at Badal village, which falls in the Lambi constituency. Punjab’s first family reached the polling station amid heavy security at about 10:30am.
In a high-voltage battle in Lambi, CM Badal is pitched against Punjab Congress chief Captain Amarinder Singh and Aam Aadmi Party’s Jarnail Singh.
“Congress is the main competition. The fallacious propaganda of AAP has been exposed during the campaigning,” he said. On Captain Amarinder’s challenging him, Badal said there was nothing to worry about as “he had fielded his son against Harsimrat (daughter-in-law) in the 2009 Lok Sabha election”. “The people of Lambi will give him the same treatment this time and Captain Sahib is going to forfeit his security deposit,” he said.
Equally confident, Sukhbir said SAD-BJP alliance will win 80 seats and AAP only 10-12. “There is no anti-incumbency factor and it will be Badals again,” Sukhbir said, before entering his horse stable adjacent to the polling station to give interviews to electronic media.
Harsimrat said the AAP will be wiped out from the state as the people want peace and the party is courting extremist.