Ahead of the assembly election results on March 11, we take a look at five controversies that emerged from poll-bound Punjab during the campaigning:
• Kejriwal’s homestay
AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal triggered a political storm by staying at the house of a former Khalistani Commando Force (KCF) militant days before elections. The Congress and SAD-BJP used this as an opportunity to warn voters of AAP’s “pro-militant” leanings.
• Sex, lies and videotape
A video of Akali Dal MP Sher Singh Ghubaya getting “intimate” with a woman went viral ahead of elections. Ghubaya, who hails from the dominant Rai Sikh community which matters in Deputy CM Sukhbir Badal’s Jalalabad seat, had turned rebel and made his son contest from Fazilka on a Congress ticket.
• Dera’s open support
The open declaration of support by Sirsa-based Dera Sacha Sauda to the ruling SAD-BJP raised the hackles of Sikhs in Punjab, including the clergy. The “premis”, as dera followers are called, lined up in queues to follow their leader’s diktat but the Badal-controlled SGPC is still struggling to pacify Sikhs, already angry at series of sacrilege incidents of Guru Granth Sahib in the state.
•Shoe at CM
A shoe was hurled at Punjab CM Parkash Singh Badal while he was campaigning in his constituency, Lambi. It hit the five-time CM in the eye. Badal is locked in a triangular fight with Punjab Congress chief Captain Amarinder Singh and Jarnail Singh of AAP, who rose to fame after hurling a shoe at former finance minister P Chdiambaram. The incident occurred days after stones were pelted at Sukhbir Singh Badal when he campaigned in Jalalabad.
• Harsimrat’s threat
With Badals under “attack”, CM’s daughter-in-law and union minister Harsimrat Badal issued an open threat to AAP saying if Akalis resorted to violence, “AAP men would not be even alive”. Harsimrat also got also trolled for an emotional video where she asks people to remember her and Sukhbir’s “sacrifices” for Punjab, saying that the couple has hardly spent any time with their children in the last 10 years.